Letters from the Beach

What a moment. What a place. What a time!


Sitting at the kitchen table bathed in warmth, bright sunshine pours through the window and it feels good to be back at this Cottage after more than 40 years.  Gales have been battering the south coast and over fifty shades of grey envelope the soft rounded curves of the South Hams.

The ancient Celtic Fire Festival of Imbolc is upon us, and it’s fitting that what seems to have been many moons of grey skies, are now replaced by a low February sun passing over the southern sky washed sea.

I breathe out a deep sigh and it feels as though my whole being softens like butter left out on a spring day.  Thresholds hover, they are the place in-between worlds, where memories slumber and awaken to Imagination’s kiss.


We’ve arrived. I can hear the distant call of seagulls above the whistling branches of the fir trees.  Two hours in the car and Bezel and I are both keen.  We head across the windswept fairway towards Yarmer Beach. Murky clouds have been replaced by fatter, friskier ones that tease and chase one another across a blue sky.

Running now, almost tumbling we head towards the grassy cliff tops and down through the steep, deep sandy dunes to the shore.

Then suddenly it’s there; the intoxicating smell of the sea.  Gulping in deep breaths of summer days and salty deliciousness, I’m transported through time and space…. into a kaleidoscope of memory which has my senses reeling.

By the time I reach the sea, my face is wet with spray carried in on the strong wind and Bezel waves his tail, suddenly halted by the crashing waves.  Large, white horses race towards us on an incoming tide and I hold onto my hat amidst the wrestling forces of nature.

Crumbling cliffs and ancient granite faces to admire, we walk – with wonder in our footprints as a pair of herring gulls watch on from a grassy outcrop and a dozen oyster catchers perch, bobbing on jagged rocks to greet the incoming tide.


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