Burning Leaves & Salty Waters
October's arrival hasn't diminished my desire to immerse my body in the cold Pacific ocean. On the contrary. Swimming in those salty glacier waters seems to be my connection to both the inner and outer world. The chill of the water is felt in every inch of my skin, each one of them sending a screeching signal to my brain that I’m alive and breathing. I admit, that under 15 degrees Celsius it becomes very painful, but not any less worth it. And the sensation of coming out of the ocean, after struggling for some 10-15 minutes to maintain a healthy body temperature, is like a lesson in the laws of relativity – the air always feels so much warmer… But still not warm enough to not warrant a very hot bath as soon as possible.
October 1st was so warm and dry (relatively speaking, of course) I nearly got a sunstroke… And of course, I had to go to the beach. I went swimming as usual, pretending I’m on the white sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, and that nothing could be more natural than going for a swim. It felt quite normal. Sunsent Beach café was open as usual, serving their usual array of British Columbian beach food. Some people on beach blankets and lawn chairs chatting and reading a magazine. Even the water was pretty normal summer temperature (16 Celsius, that is…). So in I go and breathe in the coldish air floating just above the water, smelling of salt, seaweed, fish, perhaps a little boat engine oil too. I’m almost convinced this Indian Summer is a real summer when it hits me: a smoldering, thick and sweet smoke of burning leaves. A little like Choya Loban, come to think of it. I’m swimming and marveling at this strange scent combination: ocean and burning leaves. Cold air and warm smoke. Wow.