The Leaves Are Back

The leaves are back in the pool. I swam through them yesterday at 6.45pm in the deep end. Some stuck to my face and goggles. Others provided me with webbed fingers, just for one stroke.

For a moment they were all around me and I was reminded that the lido is wild and that the best bit is yet to come.

When it gets colder there will be more leaves. They will flow along my body and I will feel prickles and scratches as the water wakes my skin. When I leave the pool I will be alive with sensation.

In the heart of winter I will not feel the leaves at all. I will feel every inch of my skin. I will feel pain. I will feel stupid. I will feel like singing. I will exchange frozen kisses and hugs and I will feel in love.

I am so lucky to swim with these leaves. Lucky to float in this magic place. Lucky to know how it feels to glide through cool water, surrounded by my friends, excited as the winter approaches.

By Stuart Palmer