As the Sun Goes Down

sun setting over the sea in Orkney

Let’s go, he said.

There’s still time, if we’re quick,

Let’s go, he said

Take this road, he said,

Down there, to the left,

We can make it, he said

Park here, he said,

Come on, hurry up,

Nearly time, he said

Stop here, he said.

That’s it, we’re here,

You can look, he said

And I looked

And I wondered

As the sun dropped down

As the sky turned gold

At St Peter’s Kirk

At the Bay of Skaill

At the end of the day

As the sun went down.

Thank you, I said

For the gift of the sun

For the gift of the moment

For the man who had brought me

For the love that he’d shown me

Thank you, I said.

Elemental Forces: Northern Beach

waves rolling in at a beah on the north coast of Scotland

She stood, transfixed, by the shore.

Traffic, people, conversation round about her: ceased.

There was only the sea, the wide open beach, the crash of the waves on the shore.

She moved, slowly, forward, looking always out to sea.

The wind shrieked in her hair.

Sand stung her cheeks.

She laughed in delight.

She sat down in front of the sea.

Northern sunshine, cold wind, the sting of the sand, the tang of salt water.

Rocks, pummelled by the sea.

Waves, crashing.

She sat, and watched, transfixed.


She wanted to shout.

She wanted to run.

She wanted to fly into the waves.

Energy coursed through her. She knew anything was possible.

She sat watching, lost in the crash of the waves, found in the spray of the sea.

Lost and found.

It was as far north as she could go.

It was the end of the pilgrimage.