No Clear Skies Today

Swathes of drizzle and mist have been sweeping from east to west, coating everything in a seeping wetness. The pale blue sea blends without horizon into the pearlescent sky. Thick and white and heavy.

Blurred islands and rocks smudge in and out of sight.

The bleak day could reflect the mood of not just Scilly but the world at this challenging time.

The fear of the virus, the isolation and economic effects of global events could be all consuming and pretty depressing.

But in these difficult times it is just so wonderful to see the best of human behaviour too. Those tiny acts of help and support; a smile, a phone call or a donation to charities that will also be struggling, can make all the difference to someone's day.

I read one of Mary Oliver's poems that really keeps how we choose to react to the crisis and behave towards each other, uppermost in my mind.

"The sea can do craziness, it can do smooth,

it can lie down like silk breathing

or toss havoc shoreward; it can give

gifts or withhold all; it can rise, ebb, froth

like an incomming frenzy of fountains, or it can sweet-talk entirely. As I can too,

and so, no doubt, can you, and you".

As islanders we are fairly resilient to periods of isolation, solitude, self-reliance and ingenuity, but there are many fears regarding the finacial impact on the islands. Despite that, the school children have made "happy bunting", with notes of hope and love, which has been hung around St Agnes and on Bryher we are supporting each other as much as possible.

Nature, tide and weather continue to go about their daily routines, oblivious to all our human woes. That in itself is comforting.

As I walk down to Green Bay (where I am totally isolated I must add) the shadowed path is sticky with damp, and the carpet of crimson flowers blown from the overhanging pittisporum trees is being squelched into the mud.

In the distance the monotonous deep tone of the fog horn provides the steady beat to the chorus of gull-call and the chirpy tune of the starlings.

As I stand with my toes in the cold sea, water lazily slaps the wet sand.

Gulls swoop effortlessly in the thick mist and I follow their glide with my eyes. Feeling the water numbing my feet I quickly sink my shoulders under and get swimming.

A quick paddle about, water splashing up into my face and lapping icily around my neck but for that brief time all worries are washed away.

Once back out on the gritty sand and the strandline of mulching weed, I notice splashes of beautiful pink seaweed. Even in the gloom of the day there is colour and brightness.

A good lesson for life perhaps, even in the gloom there will always be a splash of colour to be found. Perhaps our smile, our phone call or act of kindness will be that splash of colour.

I hope that life for you all is not becoming too stressful and overwhelming and you are still able to find a little colour in the gloom. Xx

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