Tuesday 25 March 2008

Holiday time over

It is Tuesday morning and the bank holiday break is over.

I spent the four days on the Sussex coast, mainly watching the rain, sleet and occasional snow fall between the sky and the sea.

I couldn't help remembering the excruciating boredom I experienced as child, staring through various hotel windows at the driving rain, desperately hoping it would clear so I could be on the beach, enjoying sandcastles, donkey rides and ice cream.

However, as an adult, I find the moods of the sky and sea fascinating and beautiful. I can happily watch the way the light falls on the water, changing from moment to moment, shifting its colour from blue to green to grey to silver. I can enjoy watching waves crash on the rocks or small ripples creep in and out with the tide and understand why painters and photographers have long been obsessed with capturing these effects of light and shade, fluidity and pattern.

I can also understand why the sea has been worshipped from our most ancient times and personified as powerful goddesses and gods of ever-changing moods; sometimes angry, sometimes gentle. The sea is from where all life emerged, but it can be a force of destruction too. The sea should be treated with our highest respect.

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