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at the beachIt’s been such a busy time these past months…this the continuing mantra of my life. And the posts here are so infrequent when I had planned so much more this year.

In between the busyness, beaches and books have sustained me, my Instagram feed has mostly reflected the books I am reading and sights from walks on the beach. (Until recently heading to Japan and that’s another story to come!)

On the beach, walking, the sun setting, the cool sand and the water rushing or lapping depending on the day.

And the books, mostly Australian Women Writers lately though not exclusively – I’ve read Michelle de Kretser’s ‘Questions of Travel‘, Carrie Tiffany’s ‘Mateship with Birds‘ and Hannah Kent’s ‘Burial Rites‘ as well as Elisabeth Gifford’s ‘Secrets of the Sea House‘ plus enjoyed a reread of a gentle favourite, Rumer Godden’s ‘In this House of Brede‘. I’ve eagerly entered these worlds and stayed there for my 30-40 minute train journey on most days.

Both beaches and books have sustained me.

The beach grounding me as it always does, my feet in the sand, the act of walking, the water cooling my thoughts, my breathing calming.

The books keeping me connected to my love of words, my creative heart that is somewhat languishing. The part of me that wants to write more poetry and the novel that I imagine but cannot quite get to that other creative desk of the heart at present.

Words that have come to me lately:

The spirit of her invincible heart guided her through the shadows.

from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, and:

for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

from e e cummings loveliest poem, ‘maggie and milly and molly and may’.

And my own beach walking poem on this theme:

 Narrative

She starts up high, facing north
towards slow mist,
watching the sea wash
into the rain’s drift below.

She is called to the beach
as if to a baptism, bride-like,
white as the air, stepping
down the rough rock stairs.

She narrates her life,
writes as she walks,
as if the sand and shells are
the bones of her story.

And the pieces connect her:
an imperfect white oval shell,
a fig leaf from a canopy,
the sketched black lines
of a creature’s moving home.

Cool and tight limbed,
she ends in another place,
as if washed by waves,
her contours, clear and shell-lined
as the Borromean grottoes
of Isolabella,
her white shining lights
coming home.