Time becomes irrelevant here. The time to go home is not dictated by a clock, but rather the weather and mood. Worries are left at the promenade and replaced with peace and comfort. No one hurries. Only the dogs move fast, cantering along the rolling rocks, tongues waggling, eyes bright, bounding along with freedom. Their owners lag behind, ambling slowly. Others stop completely, simply breathing in the horizon, lost in the moment.
I feel calm as soon as my feel start crunching on the pebbles. I take giant sinking strides towards my perfect spot. The sticky sea air fills my lungs and my body feels renewed with each breath. I let my tired legs give way and flop my down onto the lumpy carpet below. I shuffle my bum from side to side until I’m moulded into the beach like a human limpet. From my custom-made seat facing the ocean, I have the best view in the world.
The low roar of the sea quietens my thoughts like white noise. The caw of the thieving gulls and the march of someone else’s footsteps interrupts my thoughts before they have the chance to form. The sun drenches my face with heat like a hot bath and soaks into my clothes. The cool breeze whispers loving affirmations on my cheeks.
The waves are gentle today. Either side of me they gently caress the wooden groynes, their rhythm as steady as a heartbeat. I breathe in time with them and watch as they comb the shore.
The sea looks viscous, as though it’s just one expansive undulating mass of jelly, a single living thing. The sun shimmers on its surface, reflecting off its millions of tiny peaks as it would off a wet crocodile’s back, each scale glistening. The peaceful blue sky is mottled with cellulite clouds, each a suspended clump of cotton wool.
As the breeze changes direction it brings the laughter and music of circles of friends, and the squeals of delight from toddlers getting splashed by cold waves creeping up and tickling their feet. The seaweed scent that lingers in the air is regularly interrupted by the whiff of a nearby BBQ and the hedonistic aroma of home grown weed. Although I sit here alone, I’m filled with the feeling of joy and connection.