Early morning and the dark is losing its hold on this forever landscape. The tide is far out, the beach smooth like vanilla fudge and on the horizon, the lights of the trawlers, making their way home for breakfast, twinkle against a backdrop of coral coloured sun which streaks the sky with the promise of a new day. Gulls fly high, wide and effortlessly on the wind, calling to each other as they trace and retrace their patterns of flight.
The sea is calm now, hiding its magnificent power, with waves gently coming and going in a rhythmic reminder of the changeless change of life.
A crab jerks itself into action as I approach and begins her sideways walk beside me. A lone bird pecks and prods the sand, searching for breakfast and I notice a piece of pale seaweed, open like a lotus flower, stretching petals towards the rising sun.
I come across the remains of a sandcastle and a broken spade, discarded by children, grown tired of building fortresses in the sand. Beside this, a couple of empty Coke cans left carelessly and yet to be claimed by an incoming tide. They temporarily create a dirty smudge on this pristine beach.
A breakwater, ahead of me is covered with algae and seaweed which resembles strands of human hair and a pile of seashells has been cast up by the sea and trapped against its base.
What appears, from a distance, to be a pile of old rags, turns out to be a dead baby seal who probably started his journey from the seal sanctuary further up the coast, but sadly must have lost his way home.
Behind me, my footprints, evidence of my temporary presence here, wait to be filled by sea water, obliterating any memory of my passing by. Ahead of me, a beach that I feel could take me to the edge of the world and the beyondness of things if I could only keep right on walking.
All of the nature that we are an intrinsic part of is present on this beach. The waves murmur their memories and secrets, the sun shines warmth, the wind plays and dances with the grasses in the sand dunes, the beach beckons rest or walks and the air is clean and pure.
We have a choice. Either we take care of this living beauty or we use it, take pleasure in it and then walk away, forgetting its precious gift as we re-immerse ourselves in our busy lives.
Here is all there is.
BLACK TIE ON THE BEACH
Midst the seashells and seaweed, the driftwood and debris at the water's edge, I find a thin black tie, damp, disheveled and discarded, with specks of sand dust stuck to its surface. What story could it tell? Perhaps washed up from a cruise ship, the property of a passenger feeling at last too confined in the stranglehold of niceties around a dinner table, or a band member pulling himself free after a night's performing. Or perhaps it belongs to a beach walker, drunk after a night of reveling, or, strolling with a lover found the neckwear suddenly too tight for comfort. One object with its secrets, abandoned and forgotten, to be investigated by curious crabs and lone artists such as me.