‘Hi, Alice, do you fancy a sunrise swim tomorrow?’ I glance down and see the message from Euan on my screen. I double-check what time sunrise will be tomorrow. ‘YES!’ I reply, ‘See you at 4:15 am.’
I do love a good sunrise swim, but there is a reason this one is so special. We are just coming out of full lockdown and tomorrow is the first day that we are allowed to travel 5 miles from home for exercise, and ‘wild swimming’ has been listed as one of the activities we are now officially allowed to partake in. Brimming with anticipation I set my alarm for 3:50 am and try to get some sleep.
Arriving at the loch the water is perfectly still. Not a single ripple disturbs its surface. There is a pre-dawn glow in the air and the mist hangs low over the surface of the loch.
Unable to wait until sunrise I get is for a first dip, breaking the glasslike surface and creating silver ripples as I move through the water. I am mesmerised by the view in front of me. It is like something from another world.
As the light starts to change we look east to see the sky turn to gold. I move across to another little beach and get back in, this time hypnotised by the sun rising before me.
I swim. I stop. I gaze at the rising sun.
Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth! I am spellbound.
I swim through the liquid gold.
Life is such a roller coaster. It is never going to be perfect. It is going to have plenty of rough spots (and goodness, there have been a lot of those recently!) but also now and then the possibility of experiencing a perfect moment... a Loch Insh sunrise.