Scillonian Solstice

Updated: Mar 1

Today the Scillonian sails once more. For those of you who don’t know the Isles of Scilly, the Scillonian is the passenger ship that sails March through to November. As the sun, and the changing light, marks the beginning and end of summer, so the Scillonian marks the beginning and end of the season for many islanders.

As it begins its first sailing change is afoot, for with it comes visitors in greater numbers, another travelling option for islanders and the all-important income the visitors bring to Scilly. Although the daily routine on the farm doesn’t dramatically change due to the Scillonian sailing, it does change the mind-set, the days of making hay whilst the sun shines are fast approaching.

Time and tide wait for no man.

Change can be one of the most challenging aspects of life, for some more than others. Humans and animals seem to thrive on a certain amount of routine and stability. We all have ways in which we like to do things, food we like to eat in a certain way, places we like to go and ultimately a little control over the how, the when and the where. Island life can challenge those comforts of stability and getting things done when and where you want them, but I feel that makes you better able to adapt to change and to “go with the flow”.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”

Lao Tzu

As beings our thoughts and emotions change daily too. I imagine myself, my mind, my well being, to be like water, not in the liquid sense of the word, but in the sense of being within the water, sinking or swimming. Some days I feel I am swimming along quite nicely, other days I feel I am sinking. I try to accommodate these changing feelings and flow naturally with them, the tide will always change. I am sure many people feel the same.

I learn from the island and the sea, the weather is always changing and the sea, although a constant, (it is always there) it is also always changing. It teaches me to enjoy it in its present state, be that wild and stormy or calm and still. Just as life can feel wild and stormy or calm and still.

Today the sea is so calm, a relief after all the gales and wild water. I play, diving and tumble turning, enjoying the clear waters and exploring the seaweeds and rocks hidden below the surface. I swim, the flat, calm surface skimming through the midline of my vision. A large piece of sea lettuce floats across my goggles, wraps itself around my face and for a moment my whole world is a bright, luscious green before it carries on its journey. I wish I could be in this peaceful, blue world of weightless freedom for much longer than the cold will allow. When I walk back up the beach the pale sand feels warm underfoot.

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