Friday, 22 April 2011

The Day We Lost The Sea

22nd April 11, Newton Links, 7 am

A day of mist isn't the best day to try a new path but it was obvious that this way would lead us to find the sea a bit further up than normal.

So we padded along, Daisy enjoying the permission to roam over new ground. I was surprised at how many little valleys and hidden features there were here amongst the dunes just a few hundred yards off the normal path.

We could have been anywhere as there was nothing familiar within sight; the mist robbing us of a view beyond the grassy hummocks in our immediate company. I contemplated how there was no smell in the air and how this alone indicated that we were on home turf. Perhaps I'm immune to the aromas of Northumbrian dunes - I'm sure that had I been in Spain there would be herbs perfuming the air. Would a Spaniard visiting here have noticed the smells of our herbs? Is he indifferent to the fragrances of his home that are so enchanting to us?

When you've relied on your sense of direction over many years of walking, you grow in confidence at your innate ability to navigate by 'feel'. It was perhaps the shattering of this confidence that produced the expletive when we arrived back at our first path having unconsciously described a horseshoe shape through the misty dunes. A sweat grew across my back as I realised that I wasn't as in control as I'd thought. Here, close to paths we've walked so many times, but today enveloped in a wee sea fret, we had become lost without even realising the error. There was no sound from the waves to guide our journey, there were no landmarks to see, there was no wind to feel the direction...We had lost the sea.

A happy ending as we find the sea by simple paths so that Daisy can wash her paws...

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