Shingle strand, stones tumbled
Pebbles shine in low light
Seaweed tossed carelessly aside
Abandoned by ebbing tide
Washed sand gleams
Rinsed by the waves.
The water’s edge
Where land meets sea.
The beach is a liminal zone. Neither land nor sea. Constantly moving from one to the other. Each tide brings a new scene, a fresh place to walk. Ever changing, ever constant. A place of contradictions. A place to rest, to walk, to think. To pray. To talk. To laugh and to cry. A place for the tired times and the energetic ones. For trudges in glumness and dancing in joy. A place of exploration. A place of being. Where my deepest thoughts are spoken and my heart’s desires are expressed, spoken into the wind and the tide. For the ears of my God alone.
There are times when the silence from God seems to deafen me. When it seems as though the wind and the tide are the only ones listening. And it’s time like this that God can strike unexpectedly… a word at the right time, an unexpected ranbow, a sweeping sunset that takes my breath away. God’s gifts for me to enjoy. This little shell reminded me that as I walk along the sand, as I practice being in the company of God, he does listen. Even in the silence.
I wake to stars still shining above me. Night blue sky gradually lightens with the coming dawn. The tide-line is invisible, hidden by a sea of mist. The headlands seems layered behind each other, timidly peeking out from foggy skirts. Trails of low cloud dance around me. I scramble across rocks damp from the sea-haar, avoiding the bright-green seaweed that tangles underfoot. The world is fast disappearing under the blanket of white. Walking through the edge of the incoming waves, I am surrounded by muffled sounds. A seagull launches himself into the sky, disappearing into obscurity. Slowly the sun shines through, brightening the gloom. The veil lifts – light is revealed.
N.B Haar is a word used for sea mist or sea fog. It’s used in the midlands and north of England and in Scotland.
Rushing waves under a silver moon ushered in the new year. This morning the beach seems freshly swept, ready for the beginning. A dog bounds up to me, full of energy, stick in mouth. We paddle through the stream, admiring the pebble bed. My mum chases waves into the sea, dancing round rockpools. I walk through the water, a thin film between my boots and the sand. The world laughs for joy around us.
Happy New Year! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! Gott Nytt År! Buon anno! Glückliches neues Jahr! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! La mulți ani! I hope and pray that this coming year is full of God’s rich blessings for you all.
High tide and gales last night. Doors and windows rattled, and the whole house shook with the power of the sea hitting the seawall. This morning the windows are coated with salt spray, blurring the edges of the world. Brilliant sunshine shines over the bay, highlighting the wave tops as they gallop shore-wards. We walk balanced on the edge of the wind. Even as we approach the strand, the tempest continues to whip the water, creating a bubbling mass. On the beach, a cappuccino has been washed up. Masses of coffee-coloured foam covers the sand. With the gusts, it rises and swells, jelly-like on the shore. I step in and sink into the softness, walking through a bubble bath. My boots disappear beneath the suds. Laughter peels across the beach, carried home on the breeze.
Joyful abandon fills the air as I kick the pile of leaves. The dog pounces and misses. Again. And again. Tail wagging wildly, eyes fixed on my feet. My spirit soars with the dry leaves. This dog is an autumn dog. Coat russet brown, blending into the bracken as we walk. Running ahead then returning to base. Pausing to be put on the lead at the roads – obviously a well-trodden way. Passing down a quiet street, turning sharp left – and there it is – the sea. The dog pulls slightly in her eagerness. Released, she heads straight for the waters edge. No hesitation. In she goes, paddling away. Sticks are found and thrown. Swimming through the water to retrieve them, coming into shore with a big shake of her fur. Again. And again. Simple delight. Until there are no more sticks to be found in this place. We turn and head back, along the woodland path. Smells and sounds abound – ears perk up, nose glued to the ground. Rabbits to be chased, squirrels to be pursued. More leaves to be attacked. One happy, wet dog makes its way home.