Winter has well and truly set in. The last two mornings greeted me with a heavy frost. This hasn’t changed my life any apart from the occasional extra pair of fluffy socks and a few reflections back to a time when I had a real fire.
I have a ‘fire’ in the caravan, just a fake one. So I don’t get to hear the air meeting the flame, or smell the burning wood. Of course there are things I don’t miss about having a real fire, like watching the cats get closer and closer to the flame until I have to put the guard up. Or letting my imagination run away with me to a chimney fire which burns my house down. I used to drift off about what I would save first.
The fake one’s good enough, all said.
As I washed and dressed this morning I wondered whether fires are allowed on the beach. Over the past few months I’d been collecting and drying driftwood, thinking it might be nice to have a little fire on the beach to sit at and reflect or meditate. My mornings seem so routine now that I’m out the door and at the bottom of the beach steps before I’m snapped out of my reverie to decide which way to go.
High tide’s at nine a.m. this morning, so I really don’t have too much time for a great long mile or two. I settle for a stride left as I decided I need to familiarize myself with the exit routes along that side. I realised that I’d wrapped two scarves around myself on the way out this morning; never a bad thing although the colors clash somewhat.
I’m not even sure why the color co-ordination thing even crossed my mind, I thought, as I found my stride and breathed the frosty sea air. I wear what brings me joy (or warmth). I looked sea-ward for the last ten minutes of my walk, feeling it’s energy and imagining its breathtaking temperature.
I find one of the exit paths about twenty minutes down. A steep path of soft sand. Natures version of those stair-climbers you find in modern gymnasiums; you keep stepping and getting nowhere. I grinned. What would I know? I haven’t been inside a gym for over twenty years.
As I start climbing the path I concentrate on relaxing and pacing my steps so they are consistent – even if they are two forward and one back. Just breathe. The sand was cold. Part of the path put me on all fours but I made it to the top.
The tide was almost up to where the sea-wall steps would be. ‘I’m glad I made it to the top,’ I pondered to myself, as I removed both scarves and recovered my breathing. I’m an ‘ocean spirit’, but not enough of one to want to paddle home in sub-zero temperatures.
I’m pleased with myself, and march to Bunnies for a croissant and a newspaper to enjoy in front of my fake fire.