"In every out thrust headland,
in every curving beach, in every grain of sand...
there is the story of the earth."
- Rachel Carson
Beaches are places of respite and refreshment, exploration and discovery. They are evidence of how the oceans transfer their dynamic energy to the land, shaping and softening our coastlines. Headlands, composed of rock more resistant to erosion, patiently await their eventual turn. A handful of sand, composed of rock fragments, minerals, and biological precipitates (remains of dead critters), tells a wonderful story of the earth throughout a variety of timescales.
Continuing our paddle from Cullen, the home of "Cullen skink", a delicious soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions, we were drawn to this isolated and completely unpopulated beach.
Beaches feel primordial here...and they are one of Scotland's best kept secrets.
Beaches are vast, "groomed" only by the rawness of nature. They offer a delicious sense of aloneness. They are a place to think, to ponder, to meditate, to contemplate...and to simply be. They are an immense amphitheatre in which one can listen to what poet Rabindranath Tagore described as the "dance-music of the tide." A trickling stream contributed a magical layer of harmony.
It's music that soothes the body, mind, and spirit.
The waist-deep grasslands, beyond the sand, beg exploration...
...and reveal glorious textures and colours. The heather was simply radiant.
Others have been here, enjoyed this special place, and have created cairns and markers...they must surely be a labour of love. I too, made a small contribution.
Beaches are a great place for lunch...the strawberries for dessert rather nicely matched my Valley Étaín 17.5. :)
As we sat listening to the gentle dance-music of the tides, the waves, the wind, the rustling grass, and the marine birds...I wondered how many grains of sand composed this vast beach? What if I was ever tasked to count them?! The thought was overwhelming.
And then I realised that there are infinitely more galaxies in the skies up above, than there are grains of sand as far as our eyes could see.
Just as every star shines brightly in the heavens, every grain is an essential part of the beach. It would become less than whole, if even one were missing.
Clearly, every person, and all life everywhere is of immense value. We are all an essential part of the whole...as tiny and insignificant as we sometimes feel our lives are.
Rested, nourished, and sustained, it was time to launch and continue down the North Sea coast of the Moray Firth.
Paddling out from the shore, I wondered, "How many drops of water there are in the ocean?"
Ah but soon there would be some VERY interesting distractions from these "deep" questions. ;)