Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Wandering the tide line

Sea shells tossed upon the tide line at Stackhouse Cove

Limpets clinging to the smooth sea sculptured rock

The hauntingly empty boat shed that belonged to a local seaman who perished at sea

The beautifully cut sea pool for Admiral Stackhouse's wife to sea bathe

The still mysterious reflexions in the sea pools

Some days it is good just to wander the tide line in one of the hauntingly beautiful coves that lay near to Perranuthnoe beside the coastal footpath.

The coastal path, edged with the cadmium yellow of the gorse, joined now by a blur of blue from the bluebells, the air heavy with the vanilla scent of the sweet blooms. With each turn of the path lays an invitation to explore another secret cove, implicit in a narrow path disappearing into the vegetation. Sliding and scrambling down to the shore line, to discover the seas new bounty tossed on the shore line. Drifts of shells, forgotten buoys, sleek shiny new sea weed all abandoned by the tide with the scent of the sea, the mysterious world that surrounds us and temps us back that we never fully understand and can only respect, never conquer but draws us ever nearer.

The sea pools laying still and reflective, each with its industry of tiny fish waiting for the tide to return; an almost forgotten boat shed nearly ruined now, a sad monument to a fisherman lost at sea never to return. I climbed curiously to explore the site one day- beautifully positioned to command the cove and navigate the easiest chanel - the roof of utilitarian concrete rafters almost gone now, there remains tossed by the sea below laying trapped amongst the boulders, smoothed by the relentless action of the waves, as if almost to expunge the memory. My mind always drifts to the fisherman that left there for the last time and I shiver and move on.

We spent days idly searching the rock pools for the legendary pool, cut by Admiral Stackhouse for his wife to sea bathe, while he conducted his experiments into sea weed. It must have been a decorous affair with daintily cut steps to the depths - i imagine her with her skirts floating around her as she modestly took the waters before returning to Acton Castle above.

So the strange memories of human existence, some tangible some less so, all recorded on the sea shore but always the relentless sea marking the rhythm of our lives as satiated we drift home along the coastal footpath.