Summer Squall

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

A gusty north westerly wind decides to battle with the paper in my notebook, flicking and flapping it about. My hair blows wildly in a tangled mess across my face, the noise of the wind buffets my ears.

Heavy rain last night has left the tracks and paths around Bryher washed rough with littered rocks and sandy gravel. Deep, water riven channels and puddles the remnants of the summer storm. The plants and bracken, once tall, now lay beaten and windswept on the ground.

Down at Great Par the sky and sea are an ominous green grey colour, dark and threatening. A summer sqwall has blown everything out of its hot sunkissed slumber.

Racing white horses leap at the dark rocks of Merrick, Droppy Nose and Gillick, sending foaming spray high into the air. Even in the relative shelter of the bay, the water’s surface is flurried and irritated by the wind.

Two swallows swoop and skim over the strandline of rolled thong weed, washed ashore in great heaps. A bumble bee flies out to sea, curious little creature, I wonder where she thinks she’s going, what could make her want to be near the water, which with one wild wave could swipe her from the air and drown her.

It’s nice to feel the strong air on my skin, refreshing, chilling, thrilling. My swim is a salty assault on the senses. The noise of the water splashing and sloshing around me, the taste and smell of salt in my nostrils and mouth, the rolling grey waves that lift me up and drop me down. The only silence is at the seabed when I dive down to escape the world above. I long to be swimming further out, towards the spray and the rocks but my sense of self preservation reminds me that this world is not truly mine and I mustn’t become complacent with this powerful creature. Instead I swim parallel to the shore before doubling back on myself towards the beach.

It feels like an autumn swim, is this the beginning of the end of Summer? The blackberries are slowly ripening on the brambles, the crops on the farm are slowing their abundant growth and the daylight hours are shortening. It feels as if something in the air changed last night and I love that sense of a new season about to begin.

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