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Monday, 4 March 2013

Sunday 24th February

It seems like forever since I last wrote this, but it is only three days – so much has happened in so short a time, and yet in many ways I feel that I am only now beginning to relax and truly enjoy being here. That may sound strange after 34 visits, but I guess it has a lot to do with the last few months, and also quite a lot to do with the fact that I have not had what I would call a proper holiday since September – five long months ago. That is a long time for someone like me, given what I have experienced these last few months.

As I then have been slowly coming to life, so it seems has Lundy. Thursday and Friday were bitterly cold days, the coldest I have ever experienced here, with strong easterly winds that shortened my usual walks around the island to a few short hours. On Thursday I managed to get down to the Landing Beach and for a stroll around Millcombe and the Southwest Field, but the wind was so cold and so intense that I soon made my way back. Friday was a little better, but frozen pools of water were much in evidence around the island as I finally made it to the North End. I made the effort to walk down to the lighthouse, but again the wind defeated me and I walked quickly back along the well trodden path.
Yesterday was better, although I can’t remember exactly where I walked – I think it was the west coast. What I do remember is getting back around 4pm, sitting down with a coffee and then a hour later glimpsing out of the window in time to see the sunlight streaming across the landscape before a beautiful sunset. On went the boots for a quick stroll back across Acklands Moor and then to sit on the stile (how many times have I done this) watching the sun go down. It was so intensely quiet with a whisper of wind and just the starlings chattering away for company, as they flew around the eaves of the Old Light.

Sitting there in the cold watching the sky slowly turn from red to orange and then to black, my mind went completely blank, and I remembered why I was here and what life is all about – reaching the silence within and finding out who and what we are. It is a paradox perhaps that we can only do that in relation to others, yet at the same time we need the silence too, for in silence we find introspection and through introspection we find ourselves and our own soul. It has been a long time since I felt like that; where the mind went so completely still, and it has made me all the more grateful for this beautiful and inspiring place and the fact that I have two whole weeks to look forward to in another five months time.

Of course I also have four more days here, five if you count Friday when I fly back to the mainland and civilisation. Sometimes I think that life out here is far more civilised than what goes on that bigger island, for here there is no crime, no noise and nothing to fear, except perhaps getting kicked by a pony, or falling off a cliff, but well, you just have to be mindful and pay attention to what you are doing. It’s amazing how being completely out of your mind has that affect on you – sharpening the senses as it were, so that you know not only what is really important, but also so that you are that much more aware of your surroundings – both the inner and the outer.
Today then I awoke refreshed and relaxed after the best night’s sleep I have in ages, just in time to see the remnants of a beautiful sunrise. Grabbing the camera I dashed outside to take a few pictures and then back to bed for another hour before finally getting up just before 8am for breakfast and a hot shower. I was out the door by 9.45am, the earliest I have been since I got here, and did not get back in until almost 4.30pm, having walked around most of the island – up the Lower East Side Path and back the West Side Path via the North End, Quarry Beach and Brazen Ward. Not surprisingly I am cream crackered and ready for sleep already, but I shall try to resist until I have at least had some hot chocolate!

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