The month of January is often ascribed to the Roman spirit whom artists have depicted as having two faces; one looking forward and one looking back. He was thought to be in charge of transitions, beginnings and endings (hence war and peace), and doorways. And many citizens of the world view January 1 as a time of new beginning and set New Year’s resolutions, most of which are broken by February. Some mark the day as they watch the Rose Bowl Parade from the comfort of their living rooms, or drink Champagne to toast the New Year. Others participate in special events.
At HBCA the beach is what drives many of us to live here. It’s where we get a chance to see our neighbors. In the winter months, however, the beach is very quiet as is the neighborhood. The Polar Bear swim gives us the opportunity to see our neighbors at least once before Spring Cleanup. This year a few HBCA’ers met at the beach just before noon to swim, dunk or splash in the really cold waters of Centerport Harbor - to test their mettle and mark the passing of another year. Many were more than happy to hold the warm clothing and towels of the daring few.
Surprisingly in attendance or rather just offshore was the Harbormaster on his boat standing at the ready in case one of the aquatic challengers got into trouble in the water. Our local Centerport Fire Department sent an ambulance equipped with an AED in case the wintery waters stopped someone’s heart during this refreshingly cold display of derring-do or someone’s foot was cut running over the rocky beach on their way to the frigid waters.
As it was, the day turned out quite favorably for such an adventure. The day was quite sunny, the winds were calm and the tide was high and the throngs of bystanders were supportive…. cheering the few bathing suit attired swimmers, dunkers and splashers.
And, yes, at high noon I joined in for a brisk dip in the cold clear water. I’ve done it since 2000 just to prove that I am strong and fun loving and, some say, to continue to prove that I’m a little crazy. But at age 75 I was delighted to find that there were many like-minded willing participants of all ages. And I can’t believe it… I wasn’t the oldest one to participate. Can’t wait ’til next year.
See you all at Family Day. (If you are 6 years old and born on a day ending in y, you can get a free ticket)