It’s been wild winter weather on Bryher today, a thrilling, temple aching north wind that with the next gust could lift you off your feet and blow you away. Driving downpours scourge from east to west whipping legs and neck with icy lashes.
Looking westward from the rear of the farmhouse, the sea is a wild, rolling torment of white water and foaming spray that is flung high towards the silver grey skies. The sun momentarily glows a frosted white before being once again engulfed by thick grey cloud.
Ruthie and I head for Popplestones, here the sea is a frenzy of wind driven water, the ebb and flow of the incoming tide hurling and dragging great waves across the shifting sand.
The roar and rush of the wind, the sand blown again my legs like a thousand piercing needles and the swell of the sea, is almost deafening, overwhelming and intimidating. However, once in the water, which actually feels warmer than the icy wind, and amazing sense of peace, silence and being at one with the sea fills us with enjoyment. Silence doesn’t have to mean you are without any noise, it can mean the silence in your soul. In the water I feel a peace and silence in my soul that just recalibrates the blood, the heart, the mind. In her book Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarrisa Pinkola Estes writes
“…the sound of wind through a great loom of trees is silence, the crash of a mountain stream is silence. For her thunder is silence, the natural order of nature, which asks nothing in return, is her life giving silence.”
We laugh, whoop, float and drift in an ocean of towering waves and frothy splattered water. Salted spray fills our eyes and nostrils, each way we turn another face full of sea smacks at us.
And then a moment when the waves and the noise doesn’t matter, we watch skyward as a gull hovers, dips and glides on the wind. A sculpted silhouette of beautiful movement.
As the sun sets behind Gweal Hill, with daylight fading fast, we clamber out of the sucking swell, spat out by the sea onto the sand, the icy wind immediately cuts to the bone so we run for towel and woolly hat.
I wonder to myself how such a crazy, wild and exhillerating experience can leave me feeling so calm and at peace.