Updated: Mar 1, 2020

A day of challenges on the farm, changes in weather and resetting of the mind.

The daybreak brought cool, crisp air with a rising sun and by eight o’clock it was high in the sky and radiant with heat. To the western horizon, however, were dark skies, threatening and moody. The sea and sky were matching violet blue with only the darker islands to seperate them. Then the rain began. Great drops plopping onto the skin, speckling the sand and rippling the water. The sun still shone intensely and the combination of rain and sunlight made the sea dance with sunbeams and sparkle.

My mind and body felt heavy and weary, the early morning starts begin to sap the energy at this time of year. The beauty of the morning is not lost on me but my senses are dulled by the sleepiness in my head.

As I walk along the sandy track at Veronica, I walk a little taller, feel the heaviness lifting with the anticipation of the swim. When the sleepiness and darkness feel they are becoming insurmountable, being with nature truly helps.

I swam with a friend at Green Bay, the water calm, fresh and clear. We both chat about the importance of taking time to swim or walk or write or paint, whatever activity it is that allows a sense of stillness and calm. Also the importance of not feeling guilty about doing it. As we paddle about I tell her about my swim yesterday.

Yesterday evening I had one of the most enjoyable swims I’ve experienced.

The tide was very low, the sea completely still, Martha and I were at Rushy Bay, the evening sunlight over the rocks of Castle Bryher and Scilly Rock.

We were on a mission to find wildlife and explore. Together we skimmed our way over the sand, our knees grazing against it’s roughness. Slowly into deeper water but still close enough to the seabed to spot hermit crabs in large numbers. Tiny fish, larger fish, topshells moving around and many types of beautiful seaweed.

Back and forth around the bay we swam on our tummies, eyes peeled for darting creatures, feeling the scratchy seaweed, the soft seaweed, the silky seaweed. My heart was lifted as I watched her face light up with amazement at the wildlife around her. Together we explored and it felt like such a special time for us to share.

My swims are different every time. They can be invigorating, calming, challenging, fun, solitary or social. The one constant in them is the beauty of nature and the environment of Bryher. No matter how I feel when I enter the water, I come out feeling better.

So if you need a pick-me-up then get yourself out to some wild space. Sink down into the long grass and watch the creatures or dip your toes into the sea and feel the sand tickle your toes. Nature is the best antidote to many of lifes struggles, take time to experience it.

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