I live on a hill by the sea. Our house is old and pink, and sits just above a viaduct. Huge arches stretch across the valley by our house, and walking down the hill, through the ferns and branches fringed with lichens, you can see the sea. If you walk the other way, down the sunken lane and into the valley, you can see the sea lying comfortably between the arches of the viaduct.
The occasional train will trundle across the viaduct by our little pink house.
I take this walk, through the woods, or on the lane, or carefully down the old monks’ path – banked high with tree trunks and fungi – too rarely. Once a week, maybe less. It’s only a few minutes walk, after all; it’s not going anywhere. A loop around the field is enough to tire the dog out.
But when I reach the pebbles, I’m a poet. Something about the sea has always brought me words. And now I’m leaving again – I’m going to the city – and this time I might not be coming back. And I’m scared that without the sea I won’t have this fail-safe way of finding inspiration. My best stories have been found on my favourite beaches.
This is a poem which was written on the pebbles, and one of the few which has made it’s way into a word document. I have owed the sea a lot, all my life, and most of the time didn’t know it. But that’s okay because of course, those 22 years, the sea never even noticed me.