In this lovely (refreshing) short film, Laura Owen Sanderson describes how she found healing from a dire illness through wild swimming.
I wasn’t afraid to die. I was more afraid, or angry if you’d like, that I hadn’t lived, that I hadn’t made the most of every opportunity. So I was waiting for a day that might never come — when you retire or when you’re thin enough or when the kids have grown up — and there was a sudden realization that that day might never come.
Swimming in nature proved a powerful release as she felt herself flow freely in something bigger than herself, appreciating that she was lucky to be “still here”, alive. It would become a new life path.
…It stops my mind wondering. Stops me worrying about things that don’t matter. And allows me to be present in that moment.
For her, the process was a kind of rewilding, a beautiful word that describes a conscious undoing of the effects of our “civilized”, very domesticated lives. It is not only about to reversing humanity’s assault on the wild and “healing nature’s wounds”. In rewilding, we heal our own wounds as well.
It reminded us of a sublime passage by Louise Erdrich:
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.