I don't think I had realised how much in need of this break I was. To realise something is to recognise it. So, for whatever reason (and there are probably a few of those) I had avoided seeing it. I developed an aptitude for 'ostrich-ing' some time ago. I've come a long way, but it's still progress rather than perfection!
The last two days have been so deeply nourishing for mind, body and soul. I have walked, and walked, and walked. I could not stay in bed. The waves called, and the sunshine beckoned. I set off shortly after 7:30, and headed up the coast. I almost had the beach to myself. I encountered only a couple of joggers, one or two people making their way to work (what a commute!) someone busy with a metal detector, and someone else attending a poised fishing rod.
I cannot remember the last time I walked barefoot on a beach. It was heavenly. Not too hot. Certainly not too cold. The temperature was better than clement. And I felt deeply content. In that moment, all was well. For the first time in a very long time, I can truly say, I wanted for nothing. In that moment, I breathed deeply, and discovered a sense of profound gratitude with which it has felt difficult to connect to in a while.
I am forever walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain
Walking alongside the ocean is, for me, tremendously restorative. Living in London I can, all too often, forget this. I become detached from that part of me that needs to see the horizon. That vast spaciousness both delights and grounds me. The limitless scene and the ever changing nature of the waves as they meet and then depart the shoreline serve as vital reminder that nothing, ever, stays the same.
In this fleeting moment, what extravagant respite as Promethean sunsets blossom, blaze and secede from splendour to mystery.
In this fleeting moment, what extravagant respite, as booming surf speaks its mystical passage across the undreamed depths.
Let me live in a house by the side of the sea,
Where men and women wander by
Where there is beauty and grace and excitement that's free
On the beach, in the sun let me lie
Let me listen to ocean's melodious roar
And its rhythm, so soothing to hear
As the foam-covered waves seem to reach for the shore
Under skies that are sunny and clear.
Joseph E. Brown