Saturday 18 April 2009



I watched the turn of the tide,
fingers of water moving stealthily
round half-buried stones, never
retreating, ever creeping forward.
As they united they filled the pools,
a breath of fresh life to sea creatures,
whose long hours of waiting were shortly to end.
Soon the pools had filled and only the
tops of the rocks were revealed, slippery
as the seaweed, like brown bubble wrap
waved with the incoming water.
Now the edge of the sea reached the
sand, and the defiant castles,
bedecked with turrets and flags
crumbled without a murmur,
collapsing to become a gently flat mound
of sand. And reaching the shingle, the waves
swashed and backwashed, rolling already
smooth stones to further roundness.

The packing up began on the shore,
wet sandy feet grated in sandals
wet costumes pushed into carrier bags.
rugs and knitting folded, the exodus began,
for a line of punk-green hair-like weed
along the sea wall showed where the
tide reached. The lure of ice creams
and tea emptied the beach
except for a man throwing sticks for his dog.
The tide kept coming, pulled by a force
unknowing, uncaring, unaware of us.
As it always had done, and will do
for ever.

© Gillian Peall

Looking at this (very) old picture of me and my little sister at the seaside, made me think of the tides, they will never stop coming and going, whatever we do and however we mess up the planet. The sea can be gentle or angry, playful or dangerous. I love it. It reminds me there is an eternity. Not indiffrerent like the tide, but loving and caring.


much2ponder said...

How sweet this post is Gilly. I love that picture, looks like something out of movie from far away and long ago. Truly priceless are memories like these. Your words touch my heart this morning as I watch the sun come up my office window. Thank you sweet Gilly.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Gilly, and such a lovely photo too. Thank you for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

I love this Gilly - and the photo of you and your sister so long ago. Reminds me of my own 'long ago'.

VioletSky said...

What a lovely photo!
And your words are a joy to read.

I never experienced the beach, or the sea, as a child - hmm, not much even now, actually - but I dream of it often.

Sue said...

Love that picture of you and V. Grandad's photos are so good aren't they? I still think there should be a book about them/him. x

Rainbow dreams said...

How beautiful, and so perfectly expressed...not dissimilar to my thoughts this week too, and a wonderful photo,
Thank you, Katie

Diane said...

What a lovely post Gilly.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Lovely photograph of you and your sister and a wonderful poem both of which evoked childhood memories for me. Thank you for this Gilly. A x