Sea pilgrims

Here we are,

the sea pilgrims.

The wanderers,

the seekers,

the beachcombers,

the sunset-catchers.

Not many of us tonight.

A grey damp evening,

dark before its time.

Unexpected flashes of white;

egrets flapping homewards

across clouds full of rain.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.

Water mirrors grey

and turns it into silver,

alchemy before our eyes.

An infinite supply of treasure

for a sea pilgrim.

We leave the shore,

turn inland.

The light darkens,

sky lowers,

but inside us the sea shines silver,

and fills our souls with light.

We will pay for it later

‘Isn’t this hot weather amazing’ I say.

‘We will pay for it later’ you reply,

as if nothing good can happen

without a bill being presented.

Sunshine now

means suffering ahead.

But what about all the storms

we’ve already weathered?

Don’t they count,

like money in the bank?

I am taking this hot summer,

banking little pieces of

happiness, scents and sounds.

Memories to unfold later,

to be viewed through the glasses of age,

rose tinted or otherwise.

I will save up some of these rays

and let them warm my future self.

I will not live my life in debt,

with good times bought on credit.

Instead I will believe

that I deserve happiness now.

Forest Bathing

At a conference,

head bursting with ideas.

Talks about nature and wellbeing,

beauty, emotions,

the benefit of mindful ‘forest bathing’,

the importance of nature connections.

Invigorating subjects

dried up by windowless rooms,

air conditioning,

artificial lighting

and too many strangers.

Break time and I escape

into a bookshop.

Funny how I always end up in one of these

when the urban world becomes too much.

My shoulders drop as I cross the threshold,

calm among wood

pulped and pressed into pages,

the ghosts of trees.

A forest of paper and words,

and silence.

I feel at home

I don’t read them, just soak in the cathedral-like atmosphere

and refrain from buying another expensive notebook.

I feel the benefit of a kind of forest bathing,

a tenuous connection to nature

until I can get back to the real thing.