Thursday, 11 July 2013

Full Fathom Five

Summer has finally arrived like an overdue visitor, her arms brimming with conciliatory gifts. Lush bouquets of plum-coloured roses. Soft gold bees browsing dizzily in the grass. I bring sandwiches to work - cheese thickly slathered with lurid yellow pickle - and sit outside to eat them in the sunshine, reading, dreaming, feeling utterly content.

Yesterday I watched a jewel-blue dragonfly skimming the surface of the lake. Today I threw in my leftover bread, and the soft little patters drew madly-quacking ducks like filings to a magnet, a hundred gleaming emerald heads bobbing for scraps.

I have always loved the water. It’s in my horoscope: the sign of the fish, two little slips of gold in a single loop, gilt-scaled, thin-finned. I have always found solace in it, a sense of quiet and calm.  It feels like home. Like I lived there once, in the cathedral quiet of the ocean depths, and some memory of it still lives at a cellular level, as coiled and self-contained as a nautilus shell on the sea-bed. When I was little, I wished every night that I’d wake up a mermaid – slim tail the colour of tears, hair spilling over my shoulders like water. (Secretly, I still believe it could happen. That one sunrise there will be a faint salt scent in the covers. A scattering of light in the sheets).


I've been choosing beauty wherever I can. And finding that the more you look for it, the easier it is to see. Filling my head with fairytales and poetry, selkies, spells and elves. Taking the longer route home along the river, stopping to take photos of the fish in the shallows, the cool blue herons as regal as queens. I’ve been eating dinner in the dappled garden, cats about my ankles in happy figure-eights. Drinking peach tea and writing out quotes in my cramped notebooks.

It’s as though beauty wants to be noticed. If I open to even its smallest expression - a smile, a sweet smell, the halo of light around a candle flame - it crests and swells, rises like a wave, or the notes in an orchestra. 

And who wouldn’t want to live on that singular frequency. Who wouldn’t want their body to pulse with that song.

Einstein said, Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is. 
My whole heart tell me it's the former.



  1. "I've been choosing beauty wherever I can. And finding that the more you look for it, the easier it is to see."

    Gorgeous, gorgeous post xoxo

  2. Beautiful post Cheryl!

    I resolutely agree with you about beauty - the more you look, the more you find. It rewards you in abundance. And what's better, endows you with the irrestible urge to share it, exclaim it wild to the wide world (which you've done here so eloquently.)

    And where better to look for beauty than the sea? ('the sea, the sea!')
    *Ps. Have you seen the film 'Undine' with Colin Farrell? A mermaid magical realist fable. You'd like it!)