Pausing for the solstice

Grief Point

Suddenly, sunrise. Light streaking across the water, a moment of colour and then the silver of mercury. All these shrinking days, the light angling lower and lower, the water turning and turning under the sky as if alive with creatures stretching their bodies toward the light. A living layer of sinuous and sensuous curves catching the brief brightnesses under winter clouds.

Trying to make sense of it, to see the patterns, takes a lifetime. They mark the trajectory of the planet itself, rolling under the great rising and falling wave of the tides. The tug of the sun and moon. The currents. The wind. Often right here, creating a hullabaloo in the downpipes, on the water.

Occasionally distant winds set waves down the fetch to come ashore, noisy where the flags hang limp. The turn of the point itself, an obstacle with submerged diversions, creates eddies and refractions.

Sometimes a layer of water moves across the ripples, a smooth, flattened line tracing some invisible trajectory, some invisible desire, some secret momentum. A stream crossing the currents that pull the strait in its customary path.

And then there’s a moment when it all stops. The water and the shore sit side by side in the great theatre we inhabit, one as calm as the other, unruffled. And you look through to pebbles as clear under the water as they are under your feet. A sea lion rises, rolls over and slips back under. A harlequin tucks it head and dives, a neat little plop. Ripples. All light, marvelous light and the shadows it creates. Movement and silence.