Time & TideWritten by John Macpherson
I walked along the beach, it was the 7th December. Cold. Sleet showers stung my face. I saw a branch, cast ashore on the tide. It was shapely and elegant, and rocking to and fro with the rhythm of the sea.
I walked along the beach again on the 11th January. The same branch was there, cast above the tide line, partly sand-covered and still shapely. The light was glorious. Looking south the squall that had just battered its way through, shedding seahissing hail, faded into distance.
But looking north a little while later as I returned from my walk, the sky had darkened as more ‘weather’ hustled down the coast. The last rays of low winter sun picking up a rainbow that had its moment of brilliance before being swallowed.
I walked along the beach again, on the 25th of January. ‘My’ branch was still there. Like some old friend it ‘waved’ to me, bobbing back and forwards with the tide. A light flurry of snow drifted down. It was still cold. My hands were frozen in the stiff northerly breeze, nowt between me and the Arctic but sea.
But I was smiling. Smiling that this one branch was still here. Still bobbing to and fro, saluting the sea that had cast it here.
I walked along the beach again. On the 1st February. My branch was gone.
But I heard a noise, and looked up and saw some geese. They reminded me of my branch, their shape was similar. And they reminded me that everything goes, returns, goes, returns.
Maybe next year my branch will come back too. Like the geese.