The thing I missed most during lockdown was water. I live in a city of five rivers with a canal system, ponds, dams and multitudinous underground rivers too, but the sea – the sea is different. The pull of the tides, the beauty and treachery of it; the sound of waves breaking rhythmically on the shore, like breathing. And salt water.
“Do you know a cure for me?”
“Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.”
“Salt water?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”
― Isak Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales<
As a landlocked city dweller, I long for the sea and always feel so much better when I get there.
It’s like a vitamin shot for the soul. Finally we went to the coast this week, having kissed goodbye to our lovely Greek island holiday and having waited for a while, not wanting to add to the problem of overcrowding on British beaches.
We chose a bit of a damp day to go early in the morning to a secluded, dog walkers’ kind of beach on the east coast and had it pretty much to ourselves, and oh it was heaven. Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) was right. Feeling my toes in the salt water again has calmed my restless spirit and put some of those frayed edges back together again. And it’s made me want to get my paints out too – not even really to try to paint the sea, but just for the playfulness and splashiness of paint, like jumping in the waves and getting your clothes wet and not caring. Ahhhhhhh….the sea. I think I’ll have to go again next week.