Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Facing the Waves

and as we reach the last of our chapter excerpts, Wanton Green, the book itself, is released! Details to follow very soon!

It is the smell that hits first; the pungent salt-rot of seaweed, lifted and lightened by the breeze. Or perhaps “arriving” begins earlier than that with the change in the sky before ever I see the waves: a lightness, a sense of space, a buoyancy reflected on clouds or hidden but present in the drifting curtains of rain. Or earlier still, facing the waves begins in the anticipation. A dry whisper of excitement like the rasp of the seaweed hanging weather-wise on the wall. A childhood shiver of growing excitement, of sandy toes, buckets and spades. An excitement that decades have not dimmed. An excitement that wakes a stillness that swells with the waves, rising as steadily, remorselessly, as the tide.

“Going to the seaside”, an adventure full of childhood memories and excitements. A starting point. For me, the sea has never lost that wonder and I recognise in that lifelong relationship some of my earliest spiritual experiences and explorations that set me on a career as ecologist, artist and storyteller.

Now I am here. Standing on the sand, watching waves, watching rocks, watching gulls wheel, slicing the air above me. Terns floating, white leaves, flakes, feathers, lilting. Now I am here, trying to let go of agendas. To be here is not to come with a ceremony in a carrier bag to enact on the seafront. To be here is not to have rehearsed the words, the prayers that should be said, the responses that should be expected. To be here, to really be here, I need to give myself to this moment, to the movement of water on shingle, to the sigh as the wave breaks on the sand

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