Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Living and Longing — at the waterfront
Not far from my flat, the sea and the endless sandy beach with its pebbles perform an ever-changing seascape. There is my home. It is the water, a home that will stay, even if I am soon to leave the flat here.
You ask me why I so often go to the beach, why I always long for the water. I have lived my whole life close to the water. The lake at Dorregeest, its reed mace waterfront touching our North-Holland polder land, where my nephew drowned. I remember. The canals of the old Dutch town Haarlem, and the long straight canal between old moorland at Kiel-Windeweer in the north. The Italian harbours, expecting the ships to come home with damask from distant foreign shores. The Adriatic sea, in which one hot summer I myself almost drowned, struggling for life while Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ resounded over the entire beach camping.
Nowadays, for almost two decades, my coastline is Scotland’s Moray Firth on the northern Atlantic edge of Europe, where the Vikings once fought with the Picts. Our seawater is warmed by the North Atlantic Drift, which we call here the Warm Gulf Stream, maybe just to make it sound warmer. We need that!
I had a free day yesterday, a non-working day. I treated myself to a spa outing with a friend in Nairn, where the air still breathes the traditional seaside resort it was in the 1950s. I loved it! Each in our own way, we enjoyed the water. As steam in the Hamman, as hot bubbles in the Jacuzzi, in the outdoor hot tub, or flowing free in the pool. Even dipping our feet into the still ice-cold sea.
There it was again; the smell of salt, the taste of water, the touch of cold waves around the feet creeping up the calves, changing the body into a vessel of goose bumps. Standing, looking out over the waves. How often do I ‘see‘ the picture of a woman, standing at the waterside, her eyes longing over the horizon to that unknown not lived life, which could have been?
Water is so emotional.
Blog 35 photo & text: © Adriana Sjan Bijman, March 2015