The Sea 02/12/2014
Why am I reminded of the sea? It’s raining and a mist has settled around the trees on the hills in the distance. Last night I drew back the curtains, about 11ish, and still thought there were curtains hanging at the window. An opaque wall formed outside, a heavy mist, a dense fog, or just the ‘atmosphere’ of the season? However best to describe it, it felt oppressive, not allowing for a view, a glimpse of anything, anything other than its grey form. It hung heavy in the air, like an old pair of long velvet curtains pulled solid against the night.
This morning rain covers the same window in drops that fall thinly down the pane, a thin, gossamer like, pattern that again makes me think there is a curtain at the window when none is there, a net curtain this time. Thin and fine it allows the greyness of the day in but makes the view a detail spied as if through the threads of a spider’s web. So I ask myself again, why does my mind think of the sea?
Sometimes it feels as if our little village should be by the sea. The lane, that turns in to a street, that runs through its secret heart, descends to the river and I often feel it should wind down to a harbour setting. Yet the coast I am thinking of is grey and misty. A vista of mountains form a sweeping corridor to the sea and the air is fresh and salty yet so sharp in the wind I can hardly get my breath and turn in all directions to get the wind behind me so I can breathe once more. The mountains stand like proud sentinels, relentless in their dedication to protect, deter, confuse, and conceal. The weather settles like a cloak around them and feels like a law unto itself. Secret perilous ways cross their contours, paths used by Princes and a people now long gone, yet the landscape holds their memory, resolute and implacable in the face of a relentlessly advancing ‘modern’ age.
The sea itself a grey mirror, swelling and drifting onwards, ever onwards with no boundary or barrier or frame to this picture. Uncontained, wild, free, dangerous, powerful. The spirit of a people, of a place. My eyes seek the sea and then roam back to the mountains, I turn full circle arms outstretched, standing on an empty beach. I seek the sea when my gaze settles on the mountains and the mountains when my eyes scan the waves. So maybe this is why today, on this grey day in November, that when I spy the outline of the hills in the distance through natures tracery curtain, I wish also to see the sea.