Saturday, February 06, 2010

'Micro' at Holy Island, part 3

'Micro' beached and the Anchorage beyond

A Very Personal Experience

To make the going easier, I clambered down a natural cleft from the sand dunes, between clumps of grasses, to a flat beach that was almost featureless, apart from a wavy pattern formed by receding water. The scene was similar to one of those Salvador Dali paintings of contrasting colours, patterns and textures, describing and enriching an endless landscape. I was enthralled by an immense stretch of ochre sand, bounded to my right by a turquoise, wave-capped sea, and to my left, by towering, weirdly shaped dunes, splotched with the abstract shapes of viridian grasses. I thrust myself directly into the wind, while shading my eyes from the stinging blast of airborne sand that pummelled my face. It was a truly surreal experience.

Suddenly from nowhere, there appeared two ageless figures of indeterminate gender, clothed in amber garments that blended into the maelstrom of golden light. As we converged, they held hands. I could hear the sighing of the dune grasses when they bowed to the whirling wind. I greeted the couple, but they did not reply, and I grudged their intrusion upon my solitude. It was a graceless act on my part, but at that moment I experienced something extraordinary - a feeling that God wanted to communicate in a special way. He wanted me to know of His eternity, His greatness, His holiness, His separateness and of His nearness. He wanted me to know of His love, His compassion, His care and concern. Somehow the two intruders were integral with this moment.

Were they believers, and if so, why did I grudge their presence? Why hadn’t they stopped and let me share my precious thoughts with them? Could they have been angels in disguise, or were they two of God's earthly children with an assurance of God-given eternity? As quickly as they had appeared, so they disappeared. The maelstrom ceased and I could only hear the wind-blown surf and the sighing of the grasses.

Lying on the beach ahead, there was a mysterious shape. As I approached it, my mind tried to make sense of what I saw. The sun-bleached object resembled the head of very fat man, but in truth it turned out to be the stump of tree! Sea and sand, friends together, had combined to form this work of art. More tree trunks and branches had been cast up on the dunes. In my imagination they were transformed into prehistoric animals and primeval fish with pointed snouts and bulbous eyes.

The wind eased and I paused to deeply inhale the fresh invigorating air, and glancing downward I saw a pair of glistening white cuttlefish shells that I could not resist. I closely inspected their exquisite design. Each shell was layered with a transverse comb-like sepia pattern. Only a Master Designer could have created such perfection. I coveted these treasures and placed them in my knapsack, but further along the beach I was taken by the appearance of a black, delta-shaped object, about the size of my hand, that contrasted with the golden sand. It turned out to be a piece of sea coal that had been polished by the ever-moving sand. I succumbed to the allure of the shiny coal and exchanged it for the priceless shells.

I reached the western extremity of the Island before lunch, and from there, atop a mighty sand dune, I was able to observe the causeway and noted a narrow channel under a low bridge. I concluded it may have been all right for me to make a clockwise circumnavigation of the Island aboard ‘Micro’. There would have been sufficient water under the causeway bridge on a rising tide to row under it, before sailing across the expanse of shallow water on the northern side to the open sea. Then, having sailed to the entrance of the tiny harbour I would have had to overcome the ebb before reaching the security of the anchorage.

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