Warming blue light and fantastically rich birdsong flooded in, as Fred opened the front door at dawn. ‘Pas mal’ he said (not bad), on looking at the sky… I’m blessed to have a husband who has ideas like this… Getting up at 4am, so that we can watch the sunrise on the longest day of the year… On the beach too…
Of course, watching the sun come up is a wonderful thing at any time of the year, but the Summer Solstice seems so worth marking. There’s the connection with the beliefs of our ancestors, with deep time and the consistent rhythms of life. A story that has played out over thousands of years.
The children came with us too, getting ready quicker than they usually would for school. I took a flask of coffee, nuts and some satsumas. The boy decided to bring his crystal wand in honour of the occasion!
Down the steps (lined with bizarre tree-like mallow and other coastal plant oddities) to Stone Bay beach… We could see a layering of low clouds to the east, although they would enhance the beauty. As the sun rose behind it, the lower cloud was outlined in curves of orange-pink. When the sun peeped over the cloud’s top, it moved quickly to glow so powerfully through a window between two cloud strips. Soon it became so bright and beautiful that we knew we must no longer look at it.
Turning the other way, we couldn’t forget the moon. She had been following us down to the beach, one part brilliant white metal the other gauze… Our satellite appeared smaller than before, but lovely against the increasingly vibrant blue sky. On the sand, we spotted two birds with a striking black and white pattern. I thought they might have been avocets, but as they left the shoreline their flight was too heavy. Our bird book suggests that they were Eider ducks. An added treasure and a memory.
Before leaving the beach we had a quick conversation about the hoppy, skippy sand creatures (very lively at that moment) and whether or not they bite. Once home we had porridge with black cherries.