My earliest memories of the sea were made during our annual trip to the east coast of Yorkshire.
That pungent assault to my senses; of seaweed, salt air and sand, are seared forever in my consciousness.
A two hour journey by bus through the winding tree strewn roads, were eventually betrayed by a glimpse of that ever demanding mistress, the sea.
Oh how we screamed with joy as our eyes caught the first glimpses of the twinkling lights, the green blanketed Atlantic. With each bend we turned, a deeper shade of her was revealed until at last we could smell her. A profusion of salt laden, fish and chip promise that was her harbour and refuge.
With never a minute to spare, our compass was fixed on the bleached sands and frothing waves that seemed to whisper "come home!". With almost a year in-between visits, I always sensed a kind of betrayal and remorse for having been away so long. Never a moment to spare as I ran to her pleasures, her embrace, the rekindled love affair that could never satisfy that yearning to belong. To be home, once again, alone.
Hours would pass as the sweet scent of fulfillment would lure me ever more into this solitary place. Passers by would smile and chat whilst amidst their gaze, a life long yearning and friendship was cemented. No playground nor entertainment could equal the immense pleasure that she afforded me. From dawn to dusk, her embrace would captivate and consume each waking hour of each passing day.
From time to time other events would capture my gaze; a scurry of seagulls, a returning boat with a parasol of gulls vying for bait and bilge pump waste. Yet it was fleeting and never permanent, as our friendship would be. In the heat of the day, we would often share an intimate moment where sea, sand and surf, would become one. At times I would disappear beneath the waves of foam as silence engulfed my senses, and the world faded from my focus, and all too quickly return.
Her cold breath would be shaken from my body by the stark contrast of the mid-summer sun, as I rolled in the baking sands, only to emerge like the crumbed plaice and chips that warmed our belly later that day. It was the best of all times! It was like theater, and hot chocolate. Warming friendship that never waned even into the cold winter nights that were to come. I found in her a lifelong escape from the mundane. My rescuer in times of trouble, my life support and means of recovery.
I found in her an interpreter of language without a word being spoken. Counselor of life and guru of peace. Mistress, lover, confident and life giver.
The passion she reveals is unlike any other. Power, might, strength, and a call to deafen the most delicate ear. From a trickle at tides turn to a bellow amidst the rocks at high tide. One cannot ignore her, as she attracts and draws us ever deeper into her gaze, with whispers of promise and enticement, as that glint of mystique is forever about her. Trapping us, beguiling us into a lifelong commitment and promise, never to betray her, to leave her, or cheat.
Holder of secrets and lifter of spirit, forever open for discourse.
Whatever time of day or season of year, she is forever that pool of solace and sharer of faith.
I have shared her moods and she mine. Heard my anger and swallowed my tears, echoed my cry and yet held forever my trust, integrity, reputation and hopes for a new day to come. At times I hear the call of generations gone, of ancestors and sojourners that too found in her a lifeline too strong to break. Separated only by time, we share a bond, a commonality, a friendship, a love.
That pungent assault, that breath of enticement bid me closer and closer, as I once again rekindled our love in drawing from her wells of refreshing.
Just a glimpse,
a gentle embrace of her salt kissed lips and I am home!