Go swimming by yourself

Find moments of peace and thoughtfulness in a busy world.

Sunset over Rush Lake
Sunset over Rush Lake on the Whitefish Chain.
Megan Buffington / Echo Journal
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I went swimming alone on a recent Sunday.

I had the house to myself for the weekend and had gotten off of work a few hours earlier. There’s a small public beach just a few minutes from my house that I’d visited with friends a few times while in high school, so I made the short trek with just myself, a towel and my Nalgene water bottle.

I’ve never been much of a swimmer. My grandparents live on a lake in west central Minnesota, and I grew up swimming with my siblings and cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. You name it, they were at the lake at some point.

But when I started working summers, I stopped the regular trips to my grandparents. Instead of every week, my trips were once or twice a summer whenever I happened to have a few days off work that justified the two-hour drive.

Even when I did go, I didn’t swim for very long, if at all.


I’m not really sure what compelled me to go to the quiet beach. I splashed around by myself for a little while, trying to see how many swimming forms I could poorly attempt. I don’t know if my short time justified the walk to reach the shore through the swamp that barely qualifies as a trail.

Megan Buffington Headshot
Megan Buffington, Echo Journal news intern
James McCrae/K&M Media

I sat, just a few inches deep in the water, watching the sunset and writing my thoughts. Organizing and contemplating, watching and breathing.

Go swimming by yourself sometime soon. Take a few moments to enjoy your surroundings, watch the sunset, reminisce.

If you’re anything like me, it’ll feed your heart and calm your wandering head.

Megan Buffington, Echo Journal intern, may be reached at 218-855-5854 or She is a 2021 Pequot Lakes High School graduate who attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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