Monday, 20 August 2012

Bright Sun on Cold Water

  Three days of sun and warmth.  The indoors makes me stir crazy, and so we wander the beach up and down, rolled up pant legs, carrying our shoes.  The water is as cold as if there had been no summer here at all.  There has been no summer here at all. 

We walk to where the river empties dark water into the North Sea, cross the line in the two waters and look down at our legs all orange and warm as the river rushes by.  The swell where the river meets the ocean is disorienting and so I look at it too long, until the world rolls over a little.  In Edinburgh last week we watched an acrobat walking on the walls and ceiling, warping gravity and finally escaping through a brightly-lit hole that appeared inside his suitcase which was stuck on the wall, which was also the floor.

A little way down the river there is a small group of seals that have swum inland and heaved themselves up onto the river bank, or just waited there as the tide went out.  Either way, I have only stood at the shallow edge of the river.  I have only dared myself to step into the place where the land drops away sharply and the current pushes strongly seaward the seals and fish that swim unseen, against and through the river.  On the river bank, one seal stretches its head and tail upward, and further upward until the outer arch of its stomach is the only point that touches the ground.

In the tide pools there are schools of small fish that dart underneath the sand when one walks too near them.  Watching them, it looks as if they just take a breath and then disappear. 


  1. Although I felt the awe of silence when I read your words and looked at these wonderful photos, I still wanted to leave some words in return... Life is beautiful, miraculous; so much to learn through listening, watching, for those who wish to know...

  2. Gorgeous photos, Jodi! I love the patterns in sand created by the water's ebb and flow. These transport me back to one of our favourite places, the west coast of Vancouver Island, near the town of Tofino and Long Beach. I've taken many similar images there. The Pacific Ocean there is not as cold even in winter as I imagine it to be so far north where you are.

  3. I love it that every piling on the jetty?/breakwater? has a seagull sitting atop it. Beautiful photos.

  4. oh, what gorgeous photos...! i see the most beautiful places, here! thank you for posting them..
    i wish i could have seen that acrobat. your trip to edinburgh sounds so full of wonder! i followed the link in the last post to the museum of metal dolls and automata and was blown away! i must go there one day!!

  5. Kata, so true! There are marvels in every corner. I hope you are rich in discoveries and beauty these days.

    Marja-Leena, that sounds lovely. I lived on the Pacific when we lived in Japan, and it was so nice. I love the North Sea too, but even in summer the surfers here have hooded wet suits where every part of their bodies except their faces are covered.

    WOL, thank you! It's a breakwater, the birds were constantly pushing one another off of it to steal a place to stand, so there was never an empty spot. Meanwhile, there were other empty breakwaters all up and down the beach. Who can tell why this particular breakwater was so desirable that day?

    Zoe, it's wonderful because that beach is right next to where I live; I just have to get past the harbour and there it is. As for Sharmanka, definitely do go if you ever have the chance. Those machines are spectacular, and the man who made them is often walking around in there and I think it is his wife that runs everything when the shows are on, so she's very knowledgeable and passionate about all the creations as well. It is so beautiful.

    The Wild Magnolia, certainly not! I feel so blessed to be able to just go out and enjoy it.

  6. Stunning, Jodi. That first photo in particular. I love the idea of having the ability to take a breath a disappear. :-)