Friday, September 15, 2023

Wild Swimming

On the dangers, joys, and damp insurgency of public water

Deakin, once stopped by a river keeper, was asked, “Does that fence mean anything to you?” Deakin leapt over the fence invoking Woody Guthrie’s oft-skipped verse, “A sign was painted said, private property. But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing. This land was made for you and me.” Deakin lived in a country with an established Right to Roam. He lived in a country with sensible gun laws. Any wild swimmer in America feels the tension of private property. My worst fears in plotting my own long swim come not from the dread of cold or pollution or drowning or exhaustion or sludge or algae or even water snakes but rather from the fear I’ll encounter an angry human with a gun. In Orion Magazine