One of my reasons for going on the writing retreat was to discover what it was I wanted to write, what sets my soul on fire. If the words I’m reading don’t grip my with rhythm, beauty and enchantment then I tend to put the book back. I aspire to write prose with rhythm and beauty that captures the reader.

I have become quite obsessed with Haiku and more recently Haibun. An ancient Japanese style of writing poetic prose.

As a new year approaches the conversation tends to turn to looking ahead, new aims and resolutions. I plan to document my island life in Haiku, 365 Haiku, one for each day, creating a little book of island Haiku. I am also going to read Haibun from both the 17th century master Matsuo Basho and more contemporary writers.

I want to write words that feel not just speak.

Anyway, to swimming.

This is my last blog of 2019.

Already I can feel the daylight lengthens ever so slightly and around Bryher tiny scented narcissi are showing their spring colours of pale yellow and white.

As much as winter can be a harsh season it also contains so much warmth and softness. The muted soft-sky of grey and golden white, with frosted clouds, blurred as if caught behind opaque glass. Day lit by the golden orb of half hidden sun. Winter sun is soft, gentle and appreciated.

The track, rough and sandy, is narrow. With outstretched arms I can almost reach the banks on either side as they chanel me down the hill. I stretch my arms as the gull stretches arced wing. But my feet are heavy on the ground whilst hers lift free on hidden air.

The light of day fades as nightime slides towards me. I walk through a dark canopy of trees, their reaching arms entwine above my head, green, damp and mossy.

The wet ground is dark, my eyes strain to see the undulations of the soft earth. A granite cottage set back from the path is quiet. No smoke puffs from the cold chimney. The white wooden gate is shut.

The tunnel of trees ends, grey light filters pale against me once again. I turn to my left , a gap dug in the bank, where dark knotted weed and smoothed off stone have edged their way from the beach below.

The sea, as if cast from glass, sits smooth, still and clear.

White bones of winter

An ice grey the sky above

Reflects the cool sea.

Fat bottomed feet grow numb to the grit and grind of sand. More numb still as soft icy water caresses white skin, licking ankle bone and shin.

Naked I sink into cool silk, skin prickles as it flows from shoulders to neck.

Blissful skinny dip

Such soft pale flesh, tightened to mottled blue, now hugs the towel and warmth of wool.

Past year washed free

Tide will forever ebb and flow

Still I love the sea.

I hope 2020 brings you all good health and happiness. Happy New Year! Xx

Peace to all.

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