100 Things I love 6: Skerne

Skerne is a relatively new part of my life. It really became important in the strange semi-lockdown that we’ve had for the last year or so. It’s a corner of land, bounded by the Taw/Torridge on the north and the sea on the west – an estuary. There’s an area of salt marsh, there’s the river, there’s the sea – it’s a great spot for birds.

I like the fact that the sky is big here. It’s flat. The colours are dull purple, blue, grey, sand. And the black and white of oyster catchers, gulls, turnstones. And there are curlews, shelducks, widgeon, stone chats, pipits. And skylarks. It’s always windy, and as you walk out towards the sea you’re heading west, so you can see the weather coming in.

There’s a huge tidal range here. I want to say it’s the second greatest in the world. We wouldn’t claim the greatest, but we feel we can lay claim to second place. At low tide you can walk 2 miles out on sand and rounded stones, sometimes weed covered and slippery, often resting in sea water left behind by the tide. There are fishermen and dog walkers, and it’s an easy place to fall into conversation with people. We are all buffetted by the wind, we are all small in the face of so much space. It’s a place to fill your lungs with good sea air.

It’s different every time we go there. The wind and water work on it – they change the pattern on the surface of the sand, they change the pattern of pools and rocks. And when the tide is out, it feels like a desert.

It’s a good place for me to walk, because it’s flat. My lungs feel better now, but at times last year I was very breathless, and struggling with hills. And it’s good to feel small and to feel the world is big sometimes.

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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1 Response to 100 Things I love 6: Skerne

  1. Ms. Liz says:

    What you said about the big sky reminds me of a lovely quote I saw this morning on twitter: “Look, up at the sky. There is a light, a beauty up there, that no shadow can touch.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

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