I never get my eyelashes wet says Barbara and she glides down to the deep end like a golden otter with the moonlight shining on her hair
We laugh as we watch her but I have also kept my head clear of the water.
It may be that my mascara would clump and my hair lie unattractively flat but it seems more than that. More than the irritation of chlorine in your eyes, the dampening of sound in your ears, there is an abandonment involved with such a baptism, the washing away of some protective layer of sin.
Vicki is dismissive of small vanities diving in from the start, despite the criss cross of fine stitches and the shadow of a bruise across one cheek bone. It is almost invisible in the darkness but remains an ashy benediction or a faint tribal tattoo that makes her look fierce and beautiful in the water.
Jo has not brought her bathers and has entered the pool in her clothes. This in itself seems brave enough without the requirement of complete submersion.
Andy says that the east wind never blows when there is a full moon.
The night has stilled, the water is blood warm and silky. We remain dunked to the shoulders, laughing and talking while the moon rolls over our heads.
Gordon, egged on by the other husbands, and on a childish impulse takes a running jump while our backs are turned. We are swamped and disconcerted.
We blink our wet eyelashes and shiver in the sudden chill as the east wind tumbles over the escarpment, oblivious as always to wives tales.
Australia Day 2013