A Moment Off

So far today it's been grey and drizzly, with rain that soaks gently through each layer. As I dip out of work for a few moments of swimming, the sun attempts to burn through the fog with a bright, hot whiteness.

Along the paths and fields of Bryher the flowers are changing. Gone are the fresh and brightly coloured pinks and geraniums of spring, replaced with the heady scent of chamomile and pineapple top. Lacy pom poms of wild carrot, emerging agapanthus and blackberry flowers turning to fruit create the summer patchwork of plants.

The past few days Bryher has taken on a renewed energy as we prepare to reopen to visitors on Saturday. Strangely I feel as though I am more conscious of our Island bubble than ever before.

Before lockdown, despite being separated by those infamous 28 miles of turbulent sea, the mainland was a familiar place.

Busier, noisier and more crowded of course, but known and understood.

Right now it feels so distant and full of unknown expectations and rules.

How will visitors be reacting to travelling here and how will we feel to see so many different faces? It is the next challenge in this long line of hurdles to overcome.

For all of those thoughts of challenge and change, here I sit, watching the ebbing tide as it laps and hisses upon the gritty sand in its familiar and comfortingly routine way.

I slip into its coolness, the silver bubbles flowing from my fingertips. The dampness begins to blow in again, drifting from West to East but there remains a brightness and the sea is still an alluring green.

I follow the tide out to the little boats that are now appearing in Green Bay. One catches my eye and stirs the heart. If I could sail this is what I would sail. Living out those nostalgic childhood stories of Swallows and Amazons.

As I swim closer I startle two gulls, they startle me and we all take flight. Them up into the clouds and me home towards the shore. I have to swim harder now against the pull of the tide.

Seconds later the mist thickens and the boats and islands behind me disappear.

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