Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

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between the sea and the mountain (on holiday, Wed 24 Oct)

My mother moved less than a month ago, to St Bees, a small town on the Cumbrian coast. The town's namesake, St Bea/Begh/Beagher, was one of the strange Irish saints who sailed the cold Northern seas in coracles, looking for ways to get closer to God. The church she left behind dominates the valley, a heavy block of rich red sandstone against the green and grey of the rain and the grassy hills. It's a world of rain and sunshine, huge skies and vast views, trapped between the sea and the mountains of the Lake District, caught in the world of changing weather.

It's raining when I wake up, but the sun comes up for breakfast. Over the church, crows are tumbling in a huge pool of swelling light, black bonfire-ashes caught in an updraft of white gold, but the far side of the valley is still dull, caught under a drift of slate-grey clouds. I watch the sun fill the village, touch a brighter green from the far side of the valley, stain the clouds a deep blue-grey. I finish my tea, caught in a feeling of stony peace, a sense of standing planted, below the landscape, feet on rock (figuratively; I'm actually standing on powder-blue carpet). Below us, the church is huge, a great soul-barn anchored at the base of the valley, you can imagine sheltering there when the last judgement comes, a dark, solid, stone shadow in a golden cup of light.

Still tired, eyes flicking upward and shadows blooming out of their allotted spaces. Yesterday I saw a huge bubble of blackness bulge out of a Lych gate as we passed. Hm. I thought. I was very tired. I still am. The crows spin up from the church tower again.

You'd never guess Sellafield was just up the road.

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