Monday, September 24, 2007

The singing wind and the seals Findhorn Harbour

Monday September 17, 2007:

Determinedly, the wind found her way between the hard surfaces and the more pliable ones, and buffeted us as we leaned into her strength. With a series of clacks and thwacks, tings, tangs and pings, she howled and whooshed, whistled and sang in a cacophony of rhythms and pitches so that we were surrounded and engulfed in her.

Despite her energy, she did not deafen. Rather she sought to weave amongst our voices, and the call of the gulls and the purr of an occasional passing car.

The harbour at Findhorn was deserted. Sensible folks were behind closed doors, settled by the first warm fires of the autumn. Foolish souls such as us were out bent on a walk on the beach at sunset, come rain or shine.

We stepped from hard concrete onto yielding sand and moonwalked our way out towards the water. Moving behind a sheltering sand dune, the sounds of the singing harbour receded amongst the peons of the gulls and the smash of the waves on shingle in the distance. We stepped onto rolling pebbles and skittered our way down towards the water’s edge.

“Oh” said my companion, coming to a sudden halt. Opposite the harbour is a sand bar almost surrounded by eddying water, for there are many currents in the bay? On top of this sandbar, my companion informed me were maybe twenty seals. They lay still, occasionally shifting and rolling. Every so often one would lollop into the water with an unheard splash; another would bob up and lumber back onto the sand bar.

As he talked, I remembered my dream of the seals, the dream I had had when snoozing one April afternoon on this very beach. I dreamed that the sea had taken me to meet the seals and that I had slept safely whilst they protected me from the wind and the sea. I remembered their mournful hum and rasping breathing and the sense that I was being protected. I was glad to know that they were still there, still steady and solid as ever, guarding the harbour and watching over the inhabitants of the village.

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