Annual Polar Bear Plunge Rings In The New Year
Andrew Parker - January 3, 2020

Changes

By Greta Zwaan

I sought for joy in peace, and rest to ease my weary mind,
Stressed out by such a heavy load, rest I just had to find.
My endurance could hold no more, my limits had been met,
I needed time to stand aside, sweet time to just forget.

But where to find the road to peace, an obscure trait to me;
My hectic lifestyle can't comprehend a way to set time free.
I've always rushed from A to B with no side glace allowed,
I had my life so well controlled; in truth, I felt quite proud.

No one could tell me what to do, I was a self-made man;
My schedules were controlled by me, I had a thorough plan.
'Twas good when all things went my way and no one interfered;
I had no one to answer to, my way was always cleared.

But years of this brought me no joy, though fortunes I'd amassed;
It seemed that all the things I owned would oh, so soon be past.
I had no friends that knew my plight, I kept myself at bay,
They all had troubles of their own; besides, what could they say?

They envied me with all my wealth, they never saw my pain,
I had life altogether, what more was there to gain?
But loneliness is terrible and emptiness is sad,
There seems no purpose for each day, no reason to be glad.

So now I wait; why? I don't know, but life for me must change.
There must be more than fortunes, a way to rearrange.
There has to be a purpose, and someone surely knows,
Why life is complicated, and days so full of woes.

Perhaps you have the answer, perhaps you know the route,
Perhaps you've traveled here before; if so, please help me out.
If need be, I'll be patient, I'll even take advice;
I'll gladly make the changes, no matter what the price.

I don't need independence, I've had my round of that;
I long for understanding, to know just where I'm at.
Someday I hope to thank you because you saw my need,
Perhaps with greater meaning, with purpose, not with greed.

I don't know how I got here, what lies ahead of me,
I'm grateful there'll be changes, I'm grateful to be free.

Do you consider yourself to be a thrill-seeker? If so, then chances are that you have heard about the annual “Polar Bear” plunge. Each year thousands take an icy plunge into the new year during the event. The Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge is in its 116th year making it the oldest winter bathing event in the U.S. The event draws thousands of swimmers each year who raise money for different causes.

 

“It’s invigorating,” said veteran participant Laurie Ferguson, 38, who was taking her 10th dip in the annual New Year’s Day tradition.

 

Getty Images/News/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

 

“It resets your year with something stupid,” she said, adding her friends thought she was nuts.

“All morning I heard it: ‘You’re crazy!” she said.

 

Temperatures reach 37 degrees Fahrenheit during the 1:00 pm plunge. One time the temperature reached a record low of 7 degrees in 2018.

 

Some swimmers chose to wear bikinis while others went in superhero costumes and Santa hats.

 

Well, that certainly is one way to ring in the new decade!