One of my many eccentricities is a penchant for collecting heart -shaped stones on the various beaches I am fortunate enough to have nearby.
The other day I saw the most beautiful Turneresque stone – all oranges, reds and yellows – shaped like a heart on Tramore Beach. I felt myself stooping to pick it up but something in the very depths of my being refused.
It felt like it was wrong to move this beauty from its natural habitat. I left it there in all its magnificence and codded myself that I could maybe collect it on the way back. As if one stone among thousands and thousands would be findable, especially as the tide was coming in and my line of walking would be changed.
I also wondered if someone else would have picked it up in the meanwhile and put it in a special place where heart stones can settle lovingly.
I still don’t know what stopped me from collecting this particular stone as I have never known such a feeling before.
I wonder where it is now and if it will by any chance turn up again. I don’t think I could ever pick it up at this stage as it feels like it was meant to be free to remain by and in the soulful sea.
Just as the tide ebbs and flows, so too does the collection of stones on the seashore change. Oftentimes, the voice of the stones is drowned out by the sound of the sea but high up on the shoreline they call out to those who seek inspiration.
Two stones spoke to me yesterday as I walked along Annestown Beach. They only needed to say two words to draw me in and tickle my imagination.
Walking along the seashore is my place of endless inspiration. I’ve realised over the last while that it’s all to do with the ever-changing nature of the sea and the many lines that it offers. These are lines that are full in their own right but which invite thoughts, reflections, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages …..
So many colourful stones with lines ~ not even requiring that one’s writing is straight ~ a perfect art gallery or pages begging to be filled.
And what about the horizon? That line that stretches the eyes and mind and makes one think of the breadth, width and depth of life.
And in-between are the waves ~ sometimes only the tiniest ripples, other times massive breakers carrying one along in great surges.
There are times, too, when the huge canvas of the lined sand on a beach like my precious Tramore provides the ultimate inspiration.
The certainty that that the sea with its multiplicity of lines is ever-changing brings a newness with every tide that encourages, hand-holds and sets the pen of the heart and mind free like a kite sailing in the wind.
Having read recently that 70% of women visit a beauty salon before going on holidays and even just perusing magazines with all sorts of lipsticks, eye-shadows and goodness knows what, I suspect that I belong to a tiny minority who never, ever wear make-up of any description.
Maybe, I’ll get cracking on it one of these days and shock the living daylights and nightlights out of all who know me!
For now, though, it’s the ‘natural look’ for me in keeping with the seashore which has an amazing capacity to throw up colourful surprises everyday.
So, tell me how you are about make-up? Are you someone who feels undressed without it or over-dressed with it? Needless to say, I’d love men’s opinions on this subject too!
I believe in thanking places that have been kind to me and Garrarus Beach has been especially kind in 2013. Hardly a day has gone by that I wasn’t out there and, no matter what, it never failed to soothe, energise and empathise with its natural beauty and animated waters.
I stole out there this evening when I probably should have been attending to Chrismas catering. It was wild and stormy but utterly majestic and the heart, or is it a harp, in the rock formation kept catching my eye:
How do you thank a beach? You need a language it will understand and I think Garrarus will understand human hands decorating it with colourful stones right beneath the cliffs, where games are played out with the incoming tide.
I don’t know about you, but I managed to get beyond fifty years of age without ever building a tower with stones. I came upon one in my travels around the web a while back and finally got to create my own today.
It was one of those intensely natural experiences, not unlike collecting sticks in the woods or picking strawberries. The wondrous variety of stones which were waiting to be chosen on Tramore Beach made it all the more magical.
It got me thinking how easy it is to overlook, just not see or do, life’s simplest pleasures.