I'm not a spiritual or superstitious person. I don't really believe in fate in the sense of some unshakeable, arbitrary destiny being dished out by powers unseen and unknown. I do believe in luck however, both good and bad; sometimes events, things, or people happen along that hold the power to change our lives. Perhaps the best luck of all comes to those who are able to recognise these unexpected possibilites, and who can put in the hard graft necessary to capitalise on them. Because luck only gets you so far, it cracks the door ajar but strength of body and will is needed to fling it open and step over the threshold.
The turning of the year is a point of reflection; a deep, still pool with a mercurial surface. It's natural to want to gaze on the reflections of the doors that opened, and those that refused to budge, during the year that has gone and to think about what other doors might open in the year to come, and whether we will have the patience and persistence to step through them.
2016 turned out to be a peculiar year for me. It brought challenge, loss, and unexpected possibility that I am not yet sure I will be able to see fulfilled. I hope I will find the patience and persistence needed.
And yes, it brought luck. Amongst that luck was unbound agreeing to take on this project; knowing that other people see the potential of it, recognise the need for it, feels like a validation of all the hours of talking and scheming and swimming that Janet and I have put into it. We had the good luck to meet one another in the first place, and being 33% funded feels as though we, with your help, are beginning to capitalise on the luck that brought us here.
I've yet to have my first lido road trip of 2017, that will come within the next couple of weeks. My last of 2016 was to Buckfastleigh, for a heated Boxing Day swim with 5 members of my family. We swam as the winter sun set, and the dragon's breath began to rise. The cold air pinched our noses while the warm water tickled our feet and the fairy lights put some sparkle into our souls. I felt lucky to be alive, despite the loss and the setbacks, and thinking of those I was reminded that life is short. No point wasting it, so for 2017 I resolve to look for the possibilities, and to grasp them if they present themselves.
May 2017 bring you, our supporters, all the possibilities you want and all the courage you need to kick the doors open and fling youselves through. Preferably clad in togs n gogs because who knows, there just might be a lido on the other side. We can but hope.
PS: Boxing Day was a double dip day for me - the first being at Beesands in Devon. I lost a close friend there a few years ago, and I haven't been able to bring myself to go there since. But in the spirit of looking back and forward, and having my family and the picture perfect conditions to lean on, it felt like time to put my best foot forward. One to add to the list of those significant swims, already populated with full moons and fierce winds, kingfishers and coffee, that will cling to the fringes of the memory for a very long time. The common thread in all my memorable swims is the sky above me, and that is why lidos are so important.
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