2012: Friday walks, To the island

From West Kirby, the beyondness of things

Long, long ago, well, last winter anyway, before this blog was even thought of, my writings would sometimes turn up on my partner Sarah’s blog. She has now made a gift to me of these writings, and over the next short while they will be appearing here, along with all their original comments.

First one, our Friday walk from early in January.

If you’ve read every word of our website (and if not…?), then you’ll know that we don’t work on Monday mornings or Fridays. The reason for Mondays is obvious. But Fridays?

Well, when I was caring intensively for Sarah in the years following her breast cancer diagnosis, we found it was essential for the health of both of us to get out into nature as often as possible. We also found we could get by on considerably less work than we used to think we had to do. So we evolved ‘walking Fridays’ as part of our lives, reasoning that if it’s in the diary, we’ll do it. In the summer it’s sometimes too hot to walk. But we still don’t work. We go camping instead.

So, we thought we’d take you out on our walks each week, to see some of the things we see. We have about half a dozen regular walks, which we do several times a year, observing the changes in the seasons as they happen. They’re not usually challenging walks, but meditations and observations of nature and our lives in nature.

And now and then we’ll take you on a new walk too.

This week we walked from West Kirby, on the Wirral, out to Hilbre Island in the Dee Estuary. Sarah’s written about this walk before in ‘The beyondness of things.’

We go to Hilbre, an island at the mouth of the Dee estuary, one of three small uninhabited islands that you can walk to at low tide. We’ve walked here most times of the year, autumn, winter and spring. It gets popular in summer so we avoid it and the times I like it the best are these, too cold or too windy, so few people. We’ve even walked here when the beach was frozen. Today we have a deserted beach to ourselves. It’s too windy to talk, the words are blown away, so we simply walk out towards the shining water of the river and ocean, like stepping off the edge of the known world, into the beyondness of things.

It’s always different, and always dramatic, to feel like that. Yesterday there was hardly any wind, quietest we’ve ever known it. Low tide was going to be at 3:30 pm, so that gave us plenty of middle of the day time to get out to the island, have our packed lunch, and walk back while the sun began to set, but before the tide came back in.

Out into the Estuary, looking across at Wales

There are 3 islands, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre. Sarah, blending into Middle Eye

Walking back, a sky for Turner to paint

Sinking sun, orange sand, 2 friends return, from the island

From the island

On Hibre, thinking

On Hibre, thinking poetically

Walking out into the estuary, off the edge of the world

Following the tides, out across the shells and sand

Taking our thoughts and ideas, towards new horizons

Finding energy and purpose, in what looks at first like emptiness

A place for ‘just imagines’, and ‘maybe it’s perfect just the way it is?’

And finding sheltering places, on shelves of ancient sandstone

Walking out to find, what we bring back, from the island

10 thoughts on “2012: Friday walks, To the island

  1. questrist

    Beautiful — the pictures and the words and the meditations. Nature is my favorite place to be and the only church that fits me. Thank you for sharing your walks.

  2. Jan Baird

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for taking us to the islands, something most of your readers are unlikely ever to see in person. I especially like the photo of Sarah blending into Middle Eye. It left me breathless.


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