I must go down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;
As far as the eye could sea I know it’s not the brilliant blues of Bora Bora or the mellifluous movement of waves in Micronesia, but I had been feeling a magnetic pull to go to the sea and remembered this place was reliably tranquil. It was an essential distraction like one of Julia Cameron’s recommended “Artists’ Dates”. Good for the soul.
October already, the eighth month of the year from when we were given a Roman calendar (before Julius Caesar’s Julian calendar in 46 BC and Pope Gregory’s decree in 24 February 1582 – my birthday in a former life) – and the Autumnal time my biodynamic basil has died back, most of the herbs and plants have been cut for juicing, before they also hibernate; and the chives, rosemary, thyme and sage snipped for herby, raw breads; half crisp, golden leaves in preparation to float freely from their branches.
But I so miss the Summer already and in September fled my watery, minerally being to merge with the same at the seaside. “Far from the Madding Crowd” like David Copperfield leaving the cruel Murdstones (to mix literary refs), half-hoping to see Pegotty’s upturned boat house on the dry beach (and with a slanting horizon that day! – it was so bright all the photographs on the beach were taken “blind”)
My raw picnic included a flask of green juice; a smooth chia seed, baobob and adaptogenic herbs breakfast in a jar; avocado, mini tomatoes, giagolo nero and chopped seaweed; and raw goji/lemon biscuits to sustain me. It’s not difficult to stay raw with a little preparation and negative ions seem to create quite an appetite!
Away from the rushing, rippling sound of the colossal swell of the sea and back in the stillness of the village of Winchelsea, was where Spike Milligan was buried in St Thomas’ Church. It was said his second choice of epitaph was “I told you I was ill!” His first was rejected outright: “Under this sod lies another!” In the end, there was a compromise: Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite, the former phrase in Irish; followed by: “Love, Light and Peace” in English. I walked up the hill to see where he’d lived in the house he said he couldn’t stand! But he must have enjoyed the views of sheep and rolling hills to Camber/Winchelsea Castle, originating in 1512, and down to the sea. His comments on life still make me laugh out loud!
A very helpful 81-year old local gentleman told me that Rod Hull (Emu) also lived there before his fatal accident; and in this parish of Icklesham dating back to 772, that on Hoggs Hill there is a windmill house Paul McArtney uses as a recording studio; and then the friendly stranger gave me a long list of other well-known locals who appreciate the serenity there.
Many of the local houses are pretty, white washboard buildings, some with ships’ clocks on the outside. Others are marvellously Miltonesque like the one below. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. Paradise Lost.
It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often ’tis in such gentle temper found
That scarcely will the very smallest shell Be moved for days from whence it sometime fell
When last the winds of heaven were unbound.
Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude
Or fed too much with cloying melody –
Sit ye near some old cavern’s mouth, and brood
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!
Keats, On The Sea
The Full Moon has passed with little incident but the intense stirrings within confirm there will be major transformation for me this month. Whatever the turbulence for any of us at any time, the obstacles, the challenges or traumas: “Something will turn up!” Wilkins Micawber, David Copperfield. And something always does.
Always in optimism and positive Shin expectation.
Love, Light and Peace