Bright water

I slept on the beach. The weather was calm and the night sky was full of stars. In the early hours I woke up to find the moon had risen. The moor was a dark mass against the sky, and the sea glittered.

I stood up and picked my way to the tideline. The flat wet sand flashed with phosphorescence as my feet touched it, and a sand pool behind a rock sparked vivid green as I splashed through it.

Down at the water’s edge, I poked my feet into the chilly water and watched as the little waves washed them with rags of moonlight.

The sea was dark, and the horizon was bright with that nameless colour you get on a clear, moonlit night. The moon itself was nearly full. Across the water, a dark wall of land was veined with waterfalls, grown fat on the recent rain and now picked out in dull silver.

In a mad moment, I wanted to swim. I wanted to launch myself into the black water and feel myself become part of it, to be myself dark and sleek and crowned with light.

The moment passed. I returned to my place by the embers of the fire and, my face turned to their warmth, I fell asleep.

This morning I wake to a grey dawn. The sky is cool with cloud. I sit for a while on the sand, watching the silver sea, before gathering my things and starting back along the track to the road. I revive as I walk, feeling the travelling mood come over me again. But in the back of my mind, there’s a tiny regret.

I wish I had gone into the water.


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