North East People

“How fragile we are”

Photo by Suzy Varty

It’s been a tough few months, but I feel a bit more like myself, and although the country is opening up again the only place I want to go is to the coast.

To see the sea. It’s early in the morning and I choose a spot with the shortest slope to the sand and find that the tide is on the turn, leaving a good ribbon of beach to walk on. The expanse of space, sky and sea is daunting suddenly; the bulk and power of the still, heavy water a bit threatening. Standing near the waves as they break incessantly onto the shore I feel I’m at the edge of the world. It’s a scary place. I’ve not experienced the sea like this before. I feel very small and insignificant. The waves are relentless, changing rhythm all the time. A natural life force that mocks the stasis that the pandemic has brought and sounding like the inner dialogue chattering when there’s no one to talk to. Home alone has palled this winter after such a long year of monotony and loneliness, and it’s unnerving to be out in a large, awesome place.

The sun is bright and the day freshly laundered, but the feeling of uplift and renewal doesn’t come. All of that water can’t seem to wash away the oppression of these times, but I’m sure it will be doing me good somehow.

I walk. Ten minutes north, ten minutes south. Short but sufficient. I take a blind photo, the sun too strong to let me compose or choose an image on the black screen. When I look at it later it says more about my feelings than about what I could actually see. I must learn to live a different way.

Please follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and/or support us with a regular donation