Monday, 31 July 2017

Finding new territory

Since Felix died I find it helps to find new places to go.  All the old places are full of memories of him, and it's good to visit them, but not all the time.  About two weeks after he died Alex and I went for a walk along the coast path west of Heybrook Bay, a stretch we hadn't walked before, and found a stunning lagoon.  It was the period in between Felix's death and his funeral,  a surreal and unreal time.  The magic of swimming in that lagoon was a moment of sanity in a miasma of madness.  I've had the urge to go back there many times since.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Visiting the dawn

Watching the sun rise is both magical and therapeutic.  You are drenched in beauty, and the inevitability of the sun rising and setting every day, whatever happens in our little lives, somehow puts things in perspective.  A couple of months ago I got up early to watch the sun rise on Dartmoor; it's something I've been doing on the anniversary of my mother's death for a few years, and now of course I've lost Felix it is even more important I do it, as a little act of remembrance and worship. Then a few weeks ago I went for an early morning swim with Amanda in Torquay (ok it wasn't dawn, we were a bit too tired for that) but there was such a sense of serenity out there, it was quiet and otherworldly and the sea held us in its gentle grasp.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The balm of the Dart

The River Dart upstream of Ashburton is so well known to me now it is like an old friend, and old friends provide comfort. During the last three months  I have been compelled more than ever to swim in its silky clear water, sit in its cascades and explore its beautiful rocky depths.  The Dart estuary, below Totnes,  I know less well.   It is a different personality, though of course related to its cousin upstream.   It slips in serpentine langour through the folding fields of the South Hams, gradually widening and becoming more saline as it gets to Dartmouth and the sea.   And now of course this bit of the Dart has even more relevance to me, as Felix is buried in Sharpham Meadow, one of those fields above the estuary.   When I visit his grave I often now go down to the river afterwards and swim below the meadow,  looking up at where he lies.