Monday, 26 May 2008
I returned to the Gower Peninsula this weekend, the second time I had been there: the first was some 17 years ago. So much of the territory was familiar enough to trigger off recollections, but the immediacy of the circumstances was more than enough for me to enjoy the moment and not to indulge in nostalgia.
There was much activity: driving, talking, walking, laughing, eating, drinking. There was much to stimulate the senses: warm sunshine, incredibly strong winds, driving rain, sea air, sand everywhere. Though the weather was at times harsh, it added to the experience, was an integral part of it rather than spoiling it: there's nothing like being warm and dry inside a tent at night while the wind howls just on the other side of the canvas, upon which the rain beats a heavy, constant tattoo.
It was a pleasure to be out, and to watch the sand whipped up by the wind into mini-tornadoes; to climb hills and explore caves; to feel the exhilaration of being out in the elements, followed by the delights of good food and beer.
But most of all, as we walked for miles along the beach, it was good to head away from the others for a while and to walk along the shore just at the point at which the waves made their furthest inroads onto the beach. Here I could allow myself to be silent, to be filled with silence, to let the sea wash the disquiet far out into the distance.
Here, just for a short while, I was afforded the luxury of just being.