Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Mermaids

The Mermaids were just emerging from the sea this morning as I arrived at Springs Beach. I always hope to catch them on my jog but am normally too late. Today the sun was still morning low and the sea lake-calm, and lit from behind the older women aged mostly in their 70s and above (the leader is 86) appeared like goddesses wading together towards the shore. In silhouette they were ageless, the back-lighting painting their outlines youthful and strong - grey hairs and facial lines obliterated by the sun. The sound of their quiet female chatter filled the little cove as they made their way up the rocks to rinse their bodies in the freshwater shower and towel off their skin and hair, waving each other off towards their mortal day.

At 7.30 every morning regardless of weather, the Mermaids swim (or wade, or paddle) from Springs to a yellow buoy and back. In the summer there can be up to 30 of them, then in the colder months the number shrinks. Rumour has it there is a small group that swim every single morning of the year, even during the freezing temperatures of high winter. These are reportedly the older Mermaids, which to me is such a clear indication that the older you are, the more you know the secret. And the younger you are, always finding an excuse to not get up and swim with the Mermaids, the less alive you are.

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