Portsalon Plungers by Mary O’Doherty

I’m as excited as a child on Christmas Eve, though I’m an adult and it’s June; Lockdown is ending and the only way to celebrate is a Sunrise Hike and a Swim. Little did we know that we were on the cusp of something wonderful that would get us through a tougher second Lockdown.

As Summer morphed into Autumn and Donegal regressed to Level 5, to exercising within 5km of our homes, our swims were our Godsend. As restrictions tightened throughout the country to ensure a ‘Meaningful Christmas’ we swam daily and buoyed each other up through bereavements and tough working conditions.

We celebrate Winter Solstice with swim, celebrate Christmas and New Year with a swim. We chat and laugh and let the sea soothe, and then we celebrate Grace and her medical practice being the first to vaccinate in Donegal; there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Suddenly it’s Spring and we celebrate Brighid and Imbolc. Casting last year’s crosses to the sea brings blessing for future safe swimming. We are upbeat, but the best is yet to come. Eimear, who manages the most scenic building in the country, invites us to plunge off a different pier at Easter!

Author Mary O’Doherty is a Me and the Water member, who sent us this story to enter our August 2021 members competition. If you would like the chance to have a swim story featured on meandthewater.ie, please email meandthewater@swimireland.ie.

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