Our coastal adventure was an easy reconnoitre, for sure. Just along the road beyond Gatehouse of Fleet, at the protected bay, deep in the recesses of the Solway Firth, we stopped at the tiny public car park and walked through the gorse bushes to the beach.
It was so bracing to enjoy the fresh air and to watch the breakers come in, but we also had a mission: could we find the rare ‘pelican foot’ sea shell, along the tide line strewn along the sand? We searched and searched, but we could not. Fortunately, we had an example bequeathed to us by a dear friend on a recent visit, so we knew what we were looking for, and we thought, ah ha, a challenge for the next generations, then.
We mused, tidal pools and easy access, and a campsite just over the field. Possibly a perfect place for the grandsons to explore. Meanwhile, we identified the pink sea thrift flowers and the white scurvy grass, as we ambled up and down the little cove.
At one end, there was a path leading around and on to another beach, which we also enjoyed, but on our passage we were struck by the startling, and persistent call of a bird that kept itself hidden in the bushes. We hadn’t heard it down at the sea shore, but it was piercing enough on the path. This time, on our return to the wind-free car, though we clocked a chaffinch-like plump bird with our binoculars, flitting industriously from branch to branch , we could not clearly identify the species. Never mind, we’d so loved its remarkably strong song.
And our brains felt refreshed. A simple excursion, nothing more and nothing less. A very quiet and calm sort of joy.