Day 29

More sunshine. These days are brightly lit, but carry a chill that reaches deep to the bones.

The first swallow has arrived here and waits patiently on a telephone wire strung high above the street. It calls out to attract its followers to join the line-up. How many will battle successfully through the northerly winds? When you see these birds in Spain and France one wonders what attracts them to this North Sea coast. There are certainly enough small flying insects to feed them and their young. 

I mention the swallow’s arrival to a man walking nearby. He laughs, as if disdainful of this cheery sign. I felt it worth sharing. I wonder, what made him laugh so harshly? Was this a triviality because he carries great worries? Was he just caught off-guard by the lightness of the comment? For some, the unrelenting strain of these days is hard to exchange for a fleeting courtesy. I grit my teeth and press on towards the sea.

On the beach a dead small-spotted catfish, one of the smallest members of the shark family, has been left far up the shingle by the falling tide. Its eyes are still bright enough to reflect the sun’s last rays, but it’s rough, mottled skin is drying out. The slender body is already curling to one side, its tail now stiff. There is no obvious sign of injury. These catfish, members of the shark family, have several names, including Sandy Dogfish, Rough-hound, or Morgay.

The name Morgay is only applied to this fish in Scotland and Cornwall, highlighting common roots of language at the extreme ends of Britain, some eight hundred to nine hundred miles apart, (about 1,400 km distant). 

At dinner, there is nothing much new to say. We are grateful for what we have, but anxiety holds us tight. The unpolished surface of the old pine kitchen-table quietly absorbs silently spilt tears.

Christopher Perry

15th April, 2020

8 thoughts on “Day 29

  1. ❤ First line, last line – and I can feel the strain, and the entire atmosphere. V &O!

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