Monday, 2 February 2015

Under Exmouth Skies (Part 16)


As is my wont, I sometimes wander lonely as a cloud to the end of Exmouth beach, past the sign that says 'Need to talk? Phone the Samaritans' and up onto the cliff edge. There I gaze out to sea and watch the gulls gliding, the cormorants diving, and the waves crashing.
On my latest excursion as I peered down into the abyss I saw drawn upon the sand of the beach far below a large heart with the words 'Ed + Beth' inside. And I pondered upon it because I knew that come the evening when the tide came in that declaration of love would be washed away and be gone forever. Those grains of sand arranged to form a symbol and two words would be dissolved and swallowed up by the sea and nobody apart from Ed and Beth would ever know they were once there. That is, if Ed and Beth were actually there together when the message was drawn? If it was just one of them alone there on that beach who had drawn it then it would of course be just them alone who would ever know. But would that make the declaration any less valid? Would it make it more poignant? A boy or a girl alone declaring their unrequited love for another only for it to be washed away by the sea?

So I took a photo for posterity.

I don't know who Ed and Beth are but their declaration of love is now on the World Wide Web for potentially all to bear witness to. I don't imagine for one moment they will ever know it's here but then that doesn't really matter because if nothing else it makes for a nice picture. And that's better than nothing. And any declaration of love in this world - if even only fleeting before being swept away - is also better than nothing.

As is said: It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.


  1. I thought about this for ages after I'd first read your post and viewed the photos. There's nothing I need to add except to say that you write so evocatively. Beautiful.

    1. Thank you C. You're very kind. And may I just say your blog is brilliant - and inspiring? And by the way, I've now listened to the Arcade Fire record you wrote about and I'd like to thank you for bringing it to my (and everyone else's) attention. Your taste is impeccable!

    2. That's so very kind of you too, John. Many thanks!