New Years Day 2020

This photograph was taken on a Canon AE-1 film camera. something I bought from a man off the street in Zurich last year. A fine thing to carry with you on days like this one. I took several pictures of that fox and this was the best of them. He seemed purposeful and sure footed while trotting down the mountainside toward the coniferous forest further down.

It was chilly that day, and I had come with some friends to celebrate the new year with a dip in the lake. The water is famously cold but I was looking forward to it. There’s something about swimming in extremely cold water, especially with friends which just seems right to do.

When we got to the top however, I found that of the 8 of us, I was the only one to remember their togs. No one apologized, and no one needed to. I didn’t mind getting in alone. in a way it was nicer because when I did get in, and I did feel the cold grip my feet and then my shins and my legs and then embrace my whole body when I leaned forward and started swimming, It was nice to know that I was the only soul in the whole lake, the only one feeling the cold, the only one looking down at the mossy rocks at the bottom and then up at the grey sky, the only one seeing things from this perspective.

My friends watched me from the shore. After I got out and got dressed, we ate lunch sitting on some rocks. stale croissants and chocolate. Then we threw stones into the lake, as far we could. Cormac, who is a hurler threw them the farthest. Luke and I hurt our shoulders trying to match him. We talked about the future. Jessica was going to Copenhagen, I was off to America. Aysia, Cormac, Charlotte and Luke were returning to college that term. We spoke about the past too, about secondary school and swimming and people we knew. All in all, a lovely way to spend new years day.

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