There was something about the last three days. Nothing extraordinary, but something whispering to be named as we escaped for the briefest of time to the North York Moors and east coast.
The wind was strong, and walking along the beaches into it was bracing. Three hat-layers bracing at times. But walking into it along a mile of sand made my shoulders relax and my lungs expand as it blew everything away and called my weary, sitting home-working body into action; ‘these-legs-are-made-for walking’ legs finally doing what they were meant to do.
Mostly the sky and sea were pale blue-grey, the same lichen blue-grey I noticed that I had been mixing last week.
And the geese were flying sideways into the wind. Like us all at the moment.
The view from the bedroom window was beautiful.
But it wasn’t the view that caught me. It was the sun rising straight ahead over the fields towards the sea.
Our house faces inland, towards the evening light of sunset and the Pennines, a profoundly different experience and I had just needed to face outwards for a couple of days.
The sense of being on the other side felt extraordinary for a moment. It was a longing from deep within for us all to be on the other side of it, past the halfway mark, the long walk back, facing into the wind.
‘And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.’