Updated: Mar 1, 2020
We are rising earlier now as the night surrenders to daylight, the blinds remain open and we wake naturally with the dawn. So by 9 am the animals are fed and watered, vegetables picked and on the stall, the children are fed with fluffy pancakes, and I am on my way for a quick swim. There is a chilly north easterly wind so I head to Rushy bay, where the dunes will shelter me. The last time I swam at Rushy was when storm Freya was in full force and the water was wild and exhilarating. What a contrast to today’s calm surface, barely a ripple, the grey green sea laps ever so gently onto the powder soft sand. The sun, although up there behind the clouds, hasn’t yet managed to break through, and the turquoise blue sparkle that I yearn to see, remains hidden in the grey.
Footprints betray a world of creatures that have, whilst the world has been sleeping, enjoyed the beach. Gulls webbed feet, rats paw tracks and sand hopper holes mark the sand. In the distance a fishing boat motors between lobster pots, laying them down from Samson to White island and then down towards Droppy Nose Point. From my watery world I can see the seal and the elephant, sculpted in granite by the wind and waves, dark against the lightening horizon. The water is hazy and dull, the seabed and chopped seaweed stirred up from the strong tides. It is lusciously calm and silky soft, and I can swim in peaceful coolness. The tide ebbs quickly and I can feel the tug of water out to sea, so I swim lengths parallel to the beach. Two shags glide in flight above my head, their black streamline bodies are so pleasing to the eye. Behind me, as I float, looking back towards land, the gorse clad Samson Hill rises up, Works Point jutting out towards the south, and behind me, the vast sea and sky stretch as far as the eye can see.
Rushy Bay is the sort of place you could sit and while away the hours, watching the fluid colours of the sea, an abundance of seabirds, the granite rocks and the changing light. Tuck yourself down amongst the dunes and rushes and stop in silent peace, let the beauty seep into your bones.
But out of the sea I must go, no time to stop and stare today, for it is the island spring clean, when islander and visitor alike, armed with bags and trailers collect any rubbish that has been washed up in the winter storms. Tidying the island for the season ahead.