Every walk along Potato Point Beach is different, no matter how often I do it. This day, the bush is still showing signs of recent heavy rain and the creek is open to the sea. Neat sandledges have formed and the water is amber-coloured. The sea has left ripples behind, in the sand and under the water.
My eye has been colonised by Paula’s 5-word challenge: I notice sharp hooks I wouldn’t have seen before in one piece of seaweed, which nurses grains of coarse sand. Other seaweed nestles in the tracks of the tide.
I add a word of my own to shape my seeing: simplicity.
When I reach the rockface at the northern end of the beach, Paula’s challenge is activated again, this time my eye is attuned to branching, in the patterns on the rock-face, and in the shaping of sand.
Shells, pebbles and seaweed bubbles cluster, or lie defiantly alone.
Out at sea, a rare sight except during the Sydney-Hobart yacht race: a sailing boat moving slowly along the horizon line.
Then back to the creek and up through the village to that place I occasionally visit and call home.
I’ve been home from a year in Warsaw for a week and all I’ve done is sleep peculiar hours and feel displaced. It has taken me all that time to drive my unwilling feet down to the beach, despite all the envy I expressed of other people’s beaches. Why? I want stimulation and I tell myself, as I have many times before, that I’ve seen all there is to see. I finally drag myself out early on a drizzly day, sky vanished in grey sea mist. I ramble around the village, walking up my street, stopping at the viewing seat above Jemison’s Beach and passing judgement on the wooden stairs completed while I was away; walking up the hill to the trig past grazing wallabies and a raindrop-speckled yucca; and then down to the seaweed strewn sand of Potato Point beach.
The tide is low and the colour leached. I see the world through rain-specked glasses, and feel the beach working a bit of preliminary magic. The light is perfect for photography, and clumps of seaweed lie on the sand arranged like artworks on a gallery wall, not so many that it’s overwhelming.
I leave the beach to walk back along the puddly road and encounter the precursors to a festival of fungi.
I amble across Troll Bridge and the grassy kangaroo-lolling patch. One old fellow missing an ear looks up at me from the swamp. I’ve begun to reclaim my southern hemisphere home.
When my mind cuts loose on an early drizzly walk along the beach, what I see arranges itself into groupings, and then the eye picks out things that feed that motif. This morning, as the light broke though clouds, the sea mist rose, and I saw the world through rain specks on my glasses, two motifs emerged: ridges and junctions. I like such free fall walks, because the eye selects what it wouldn't otherwise notice, and fails to notice things it may have seen. Thus it becomes a unique ramble, funneled thusly rather than otherwise.
We had a flood a week or two ago. Tree trunks and large logs roared down the racing Tuross River, and out to sea. They arrived riding the surf onto Potato Point beach, defacing its pure sand. But where I saw ugliness, holiday makers saw possibilities. Soon the beach was busy with engineers and architects and labourers, and the supply of timber was raised from horizontal to a variety of verticals. Architectural style varied: shack, minimalist structure also serving as hanging space, bungalow, tepee, miniature Shinto shrine. The architecture wasn't brutalist: seaweed, pebbles, logs, beach grass, shadow and view became decorative elements.
A long time since a proper home-post. This morning, a simple walk along my beach. Tea coloured water. Wispy clouds, thin in a pale blue sky. Easy waves, no shock of cold against my ankles. Purple pig face spilling down eaten-away dunes. Fish, increasingly large, schooling through the creek. Amber reflections in a frame of mottled casuarinas. A bird, sharp black and white until it roosted, then a ball of indiscriminate fluff.
It's a temptation to recycle old posts when the opportunity arises. Ailsa's invitation to add to her numbers theme was irresistible. To see the numbers the sea writes have a look at
All I had to do to find these numbers was walk to the beach a few streets away from my house. It's a different kind of travel, to only move this far. I travel small distances to know my local delights intimately.
When you've savoured the works of that mathematician, the sea, go to wheresmybackpack to savour all kinds of numbers from all over the world.