Updated: Mar 1, 2020
It has been raining heavily overnight and the morning is grey and damp, I hope it clears for planting later. I creep out of the sleepy farmhouse, leave it quiet and still. The island feels the same, in Sunday morning slumber. Its 6:45 and it seems late to me but the change in the clocks has brought the darkness back into morning and the inky blue blackness is just fading into grey.
A silent walk along the sandy track of Veronica farm, the rhythmic slap, slap of the gentle waves to my right and the chirping of invisible birds all around.
As I reach Quay, two fishermen are setting off for a day’s work on the waves. Dressed in yellow oilskins, wellies and woolly hat, tubs full of pungent fish bait, ready to be put into the lobster pots and sunk into the depths. The familiar chug and pop of the boat engines, a comforting island sound. I know one day when I am far from my life on Bryher, I may hear a sound like it, and memories of Bryher and early morning swims will flood back into my mind, as the tide floods into the shore.
Two honking geese fly overhead toward Tresco, and then I am once more alone in the early morning light and the high tide calls me in. The rushes that edge the sandy bank at the top of the beach, and act as a sea defence for the tiny road, wave golden green in the easterly breeze. Oyster thief line the high tide mark, little green brown bubbles, all fat and puffed with air.
The water feels cold and my forehead freezes as I dive into the shallows and rapidly swim out into the bay. I am caught in an icy clamp, my skin pricking, my fingers and toes pinched, until my body adjusts, and then the freedom and exhilaration begins.
The sea is choppy, and waves slap and buffet me, a few hit the soft underside of my arms and break across my face. It is hard to find a rhythm to the stroke and often my nostrils and mouth are filled with the chilled saline. But it is beautiful and fun and I emerge back onto the soft rippled sand sated and refreshed.
The island still feels sleepy as Sundays often do, but I am looking forward to feeding the animals, picking the vegetables and digging the first early potatoes of the year, maybe an early Easter egg hunt with the children. I hope your sleepy Sunday has been fun too.