ancient sites, Archaeology, Books, symbolism, TOLL, travel

North-easterly: Sidetracked by Beauty

“You do know the tide’s coming in….?” I did, but the rocks were too tempting and the water clear and shallow, reflecting the light of the setting sun at the end of a long day. It had been a good weekend, with plenty of chance to talk to our friends and, apart from the downpour on Friday evening, some really lovely weather.

For me, being by the sea had been a treat in itself. I see it too rarely and there will always be a sense of wonder and reverence, as well as all the excitement of childhood, whenever the journey we are taking takes me to the shores of this island that is our home.

The final moments of our last evening were spent on the beach at Beadnell, watching the colours shift and change, painting perfect landscapes, casting shadows on the sand and revealing ancient sea-worn faces in the rocks.

The obligatory black dog …. there is always a black dog… reminded me of Ani and, not for the first time, I thought how much I would love to bring her here, in spite of the three hundred mile drive.

But mostly, we just stood and watched as day slid towards twilight and into evening, the early autumn sunset casting reflected colours on the eastern horizon. While the limited landscape we could see from the beach changed only with the movement of the waves and the people who walked through it, no two moments were the same as light and darkness vied for precedence.

As a species we tend to fear the dark; all our favourite horror stories, all our worst nightmares take place when the sun has left the sky, yet it is also the time when we dream, a time of magic and, in the halflight of dusk, a time when time no longer matters.

We could simply stop doing and just be. It was the perfect way to end the weekend, though we did have something planned for the drive home next day…

Darkness closed around us as we walked through the village, passing the glowing windows of the church illuminating the night, heading for the pub in the old pele tower. There too there was stained glass… and a silent garden where we sat and watched the stars come out, talking until long after the pub had closed its doors.