It’s 1 am, the sun almost on its way back up behind the treetops. The sky looks almost chrome on the horizon. It takes just a few minutes to adjust the eyes to the dark. Walking along the path down to the water is easier with the torch off, it’s almost scarier to keep it on, the light is blinding to the point where you can’t make out anything that’s hiding in the dark.
The water is almost completely still. A house across the bay has the porch light on, it cuts through the dark all the way to the pier. The air has cooled down from the day time temperature of 30ºc. We estimate it to be 24ºc.
The mirror surface of the water is broken by my brother diving in head first. He gasps as he resurfaces and then dive under again. Like a seal he swims and is suddenly much further out. All at once the rest of us follow him.
I’ve developed a fear of bodies of water, but I struggle against it. The depths seem even deeper and darker in the night. I swim close to the rest, thinking if something grabs me it will grab them too. We stop further out, the silence only broken by the rippling water moved by our swim strokes. I tread water to keep me afloat, then fold my legs up to keep my feet from touching the seaweed.
I stretch my body out on the surface, relaxing my limbs to stay afloat. The water blocks my ears and I close my eyes for a few moments. The silence is as numbing on my mind like the cold water is on my body. It’s a rare moment of complete peace, that fleets as my legs slowly sink towards the depths, but it’s enough to weigh up for several weeks of stress and worry.
This is the moment I refer to in the midst of February, when I say I miss summer.