Not a proper Joy Day, but a day of joy it certainly was. On a damp morning, ten met for a vast and strengthening breakfast. Bleary eyes were soon opened by the nourishing sight of recent Sri Chinmoy videos. Two washed dishes while I read favourite AA Milne poems from my childhood in the voices my father used to use. The others shrieked and chuckled as they worked. We agreed Milne was a genius and wished he had written more.
Out of the whirl and hum of the city, seven set out along the coast. Now steel mills sit in a slumbering Sunday town. Bright, wind-swept boarding houses and stout promenades speed past as we enthuse about the way things are and how they may be soon. A horned cow firmly stands, blocking the other side of the road. An international airport boasts a new fence around its one hangar, one hut and a handful of tiny aircraft.
We make the last mile on foot across a green cliff. A castle ruin still looks out to sea after seeing eight centuries. A stone arch no longer holds a roof, but frames a seascape through a wall long blown away. This surely is the abode of legends! Surely King Arthur has seen this very view! Down a sheer slope of powdered sand, each step creates a downward elevator, making the body momentarily weightless. Then on to a crescent cove nestled in greenery. Pale sand and gentle sea.
We run, analysing our prints in the sand, then chasing up vertical dunes and flopping to the ground. Now we swim in the clear sea, which rolls and swells happily. The cold shock soon fades and the rain starts to fall. I become a playful fish, a baby in Ocean's loving arms, a drop in the sea of compassion, then joy just consumes me. For a moment I feel immersed in oneness. I am so full, I come out again to feel wrinkles of sand underfoot. I lie flat on the earth surrounded by sky.
Then back along a winding rivulet through soft marshes. Verdant weed clings to the pebbles. Twin velveteen calves stand motionless, dribbling and frowning. On to a canopied fresh stream and miniature mossy grottoes. If fairies and goblins are to live anywhere I am sure they would choose here! The dappled shade creates the sense that small things are moving just too cleverly to be caught by human eyes!
The rain now falls in earnest as we reach our tea-shop destination. Welsh rain I am sure is wetter than any other. With sturdy cups of tea, we compare past marathon mistakes and training insecurities, laughing heartily. Chocolate ice-cream (almost black with intensity) is served in polystyrene with a neon spoon and fuels further verbal rambling.
Scrubbed clean of sand we end a perfect day with meditation at Centre Meeting. Surrounded by fragrant yellow flowers I feel alive with a day immersed in simplicity. I offer all my heart's gratitude for the beauty and joy of life.
Sumangali MorhallAugust 2004