Day 34

Ice blue is the only way to describe yet another cloudless sky. The wind moves from the north to the east as the Sun tracks around the side of house to the back field. I get out for an evening walk only when our star has turned white and offers little in the way of warmth.

Earlier I saw a pair of house martins flying raggedly in search of their regular nesting site. This evening, a swallow careens around the end of a hedge and swerves past me at head height. Is that the second of the year, or the first I saw six days ago?

Halfway down the field-edge toward the sea I take a left at the footpath that takes me towards the clump of Scots Pines. These provide a break from the buffeting wind and under these trees it is noticeably warmer than out in the field. There is a gap in the gorse above the road that gives a good view of the birds feeding on the marshes. 

While I am sheltered here there is the constant sound of the wind in the trees. It is as if someone is sweeping a giant broom across a vast expanse of flagstone floor. However, the pine needles and stiff breeze are only providing the top notes to constant undertones of the raging sea, which have accompanied my walk from the start. In fact the whole day has been full of this low rushing sound since I awoke. The sea is angry.

White horses are visible to the horizon. The waves are curling up into beautiful curves before hitting the beach. The resulting explosion of foam and spume, water and pebbles regularly shower higher than three metres into the air. The collapse of these breakers and their disintegration is visible even from behind the shingle bank. This display inevitably draws me to the shoreline.

The beach is being smashed by every incoming wave. The frequency of the waves is such that there is no respite between the destructive hit of one wave and the arrival of the next. The huge beach extends for more than 12 kilometres to the tip of Blakeney Point and then about six kilometres east to the soft clay cliffs of Sheringham. At every part of the shoreline the power of the sea is witnessed. The sea is unforgiving in this state. All along the shore the air is misted by spray. The sun sets as a heartless, silver disc through this briny veil.

When I take my jacket off at the house, it is as damp as if I had have been walking through light rain, despite the sunlight and clear sky. I lick my lips and savour the taste of sea salt.

I am told the new parents have agreed on a name for their daughter. The new grandmother waits for a decision about when her daughter and grand-daughter will be allowed home. 

Sporadic text messages punctuate the late evening before lights out.

.

Christopher Perry

20th April, 2020

Breaking Wave

A gentle undulation swells

Soon noticeable from land

Catches eyes of pebbles

That slowly turn, drawn to the scene

Expectation of the burgeoning bump builds

The ocean cannot contain the power moving within

Pushing at its rounded surface

A large, complacent gull senses his peaceful drift is ended

Lifts up at a shift in form below

When the point of no return is peaked

Then falling, foaming, crashing

As the sea unburdens all

Creates a noisy, messy ejection

That impacts harsh upon the grains of sand

Tumbling, falling, rushing

Pushing up the beach

Exploring shingle, lifting stones

Re-shapes the land

Carrying bubbles of spume from birth to the last

It drives on up the steep slope

Changes everything, leaves its mark

Fresh patterns, colours; all positions new

Merges with another breaker

Where it starts or ends becomes unknown

A stronger force with two, or more, combined

Until the inevitable pull to return becomes too strong

Diminishing, the surge subsides

Slows to stop

Slips back to where

A gentle undulation swells

.

 

n.b. Breaking Wave is written in response to the first Globowrimo / Napowrimo 2020 prompt of 2020. Find a metaphor based on a simple action to present an (auto)biography.

Christopher Perry  1st April 2020

Day 4

Catkins, cast adrift from willows by gusting draughts, litter the garden. The grass looks as if plagued by woolly, dusty caterpillars that have emerged from below. The week’s washing flaps and tugs on the line.

The wind has turned to the east. It bites at the skin and catches in the throat.

Today the Spring Equinox has passed and the Sun’s steady climb towards its zenith is celebrated by the arrival of goldfinches bowling in on the chill blow. They chirrup soft songs to each other beneath the raucous complaints of their rowing neighbours.

Blackbirds ruffled by the blustery conditions contest territory. Vicious attacks continue in ignorance of my presence.

On the salt marshes waders lie low. Flight into, across or down wind is difficult. Jerky movements with scooped wings in attempts to control flight, suggest the waterfowl are string-manipulated puppets; uncertainly staggering through the air.

On the great expanse of shingle the German Sea crashes in. Dirty brown rollers maned with white crests are topped-off by the crosswind. Further out, where the water sparkles blue, the triple-bladed wind turbines are shining in the brilliant sunlight. The massive propellors churn relentlessly, feeding the grid.

We spoke this morning. Both in dazzling sunlight, despite being hundreds of kilometres apart.

The distance between us is as nothing. I half-expect to hear you knock at the door.

“Is the kettle on?” you chance.

“Of course! Come in.”

CLP 21/03/2020