down to the sea
We find it so very easy, during these chilly and often grey months of winter, to settle inside. For hours on end. On our butts. And no matter how busy or creative our hands or minds are, we are still settled inside. For hours on end. On our butts.
Home from morning shoppings, there I found my family. Still in their jammies. Persistent prodding to get up and get moving … walk the doggies, visit the park, even go to the movies … was met with lazy protests that it was too cold and too dreary. They were happy there on the sofa, surrounded by books, drawing pads, pens, knitting, felt, embroidery supplies …
Enough! Time to get out! Now, I have a penchant for lighthouses (it was all that Famous Five reading as a child) and a quick google showed us where we could find a pretty one, not too far away, with good walking opportunities … and some fine knitting hours in the car :-) … Cape Schank, on the end of the Mornington Peninsula.
Sadly, the lighthouse itself is out of bounds at the moment – there was some damage to the surrounding ground during our recent tiddly earthquake. But there were 237 steps to skip down to the Pulpit Rock and Pebble Beach … and 237 to laboriously climb back up! (we trust this number is correct – it was given to us by a 10 year old boy with very puffed grandparents – they seem to like counting these things).
It was glorious – the wind was sharp and refreshing, whisking those cobwebs from our minds, the salty air was tangy and sweet, and the waves, despite looking rather meek, roared fiercely. ’Tis indeed part of the coastline I would not like to be washed up upon.
Almost as much as the sea, I love the colour and texture you find amongst the trees, rocks and paths that border it. So much of it looks like it would be right at home in a fairy tale. The plaited wood above, with its jewels of moss, could only belong to a tree sprite. As for that sharp tangle of brittle branches .. why it must have been put there by a sea witch, wanting to trap any poor folk who stagger up from a ship wrecked upon her rocks.
And the colours … I love the weathered greys of the timber and rich yellows and frosty greens of the lichens and moss – the only “flowers” that could possibly grow in a world that is constantly beaten by wind, water and salt. Since reading the magical book, Toby Alone, I find myself squinting into each “forest” of lichen I meet, imagining that I too am less than an inch tall and wandering amongst these strange forests.
Once down upon the beach, there were pebbles to be skipped, mad rock climbing fathers to watch with awe/envy (exasperation/head-shaking), and knitting. Yes, as far as Sacha and I were concerned, Abby and Julian were welcome to the rocks … we each found ourselves a perch and got in a few more rows – whilst keeping an eye on those waves to make sure we didn’t find ourselves marooned.
Then, despite the hope of sun on the western horizon, our sky grew even darker. A soft mist of rain draped itself across our heads and shoulders and, as a reminder that the day was almost done, the light almost gone, the lighthouse sent its fiery beam out across the water.
It was time for home … with fingers crossed that yes, tomorrow, we would indeed have sun.