I’m back on the North Beach. The tide is but a distant swo-o-o-o-sh, a pulsing thrum that draws you in to listen for its soothing surges. The light is low and the sky is grim-grey but vibrating with trills, tweets and whistles.
The sounds are coming from every direction and none in this sweeping quadrophonic soundscape. You’re in the sound. So full, so bracing, so invigorating.
The sand scrunches satisfyingly under my thread as I make for a low, perfect sitting rock.
The whiff and tang of sea air assails my nostrils … breathing it in, sucking it up, up, up until it fills my skull and permeates my very being. The ultimate saline solution!
The oscillating breeze slyly insinuates itself against my cheekbones, like the soft intimate breath of an invisible lover, winding itself coquettishly around my body, enveloping me as it swirls sinuously along my ear canals to tap out a soft roll of the sea on my ear drums.
The oh so bearable lightness of just being. Every one of my senses satiated and satisfied.
A sudden cawing from high behind my left shoulder makes me smile. My friend the crow is having his say too.
The Irish name for crow, préachán (pronounced pray-a-kawn) comes to mind and an old Irish kids song, Préachán, Préachán. What a wonderfully onomatopoeic name. Those guttural consonants and the drawn out e and a.
My dad used to say: “It takes all kinds to make a world, and they are all in it, son”.
Even Mr Crow.
The crow figures a lot in Irish myth and legend, even if he is rarely the hero of the piece.
Celtic and Irish goddesses were believed to appear in the form of a crow or a raven, gathering over the battlefields, where they would feed on the flesh of the fallen warriors.
Also, seeing a raven or a crow before going into a battle gave a sense of foreboding and meant that the army would be defeated
Then, of course, there’s the vain bird up in the tree with a fine lump of cheese in his beak. The fox is down on the ground planning how to get the cheese, so he flatters the bird into “singing”, telling him what an exquisite singing voice he has.
The crow opens his beak to show off and drops the cheese …
Crows are upfront, feisty characters, no airs or graces as they forage away. Unashamed of their less than dulcet tones, they seem to know who they are, what they are, and they’re just fine with it.
They would even crow about it.
Half way across the North Beach a wonderfully discordant honking symphony abruptly strikes up as a group of some kind of ducks takes to the air en masse and flap off into the great wherever.
I’m conscious that I know the names of so few birds and creatures but kindly remind myself I’m not here to write a list. Just to listen and enjoy it.
I can’t help feeling I’ve been missing this easeful immersion in the nothing and the everything. Separate and discrete, yet part of something vast.
Nature is providing the music and the ambience and I’m here on my rock putting a few lines to my sense impressions. That’s all but it’s all I need right now.
The blue of sky and sea, green and grey of cliff and beige of beach have been rinsed and bleached as they meld into the encroaching early evening dusk, but inside all is bright and vivid. I am indulged and gratified.
Some days you have to seek out these sacred places, and sometimes you were already there and just hadn’t noticed.
I feel like a musician who had lost the beat but has found it again in the best way: just cocking an ear and sliding back into the piece when good and ready.
Rock on universe!
- If you enjoyed what you have just read, try another one! Try them all! Seriously, follow my blog and you won’t miss out again. Thanks for reading