Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Gallery - Nature, freedom and hope

Some cliches:

Free as a bird
Spread your wings
The ever-rolling sea
Let fly....

But then, perhaps the reason they're cliches is because they're true.

I look at this photograph, which I took at the Cape of Good Hope when L was not quite six months and I see freedom.  And I see space.  And I see silence.  And I feel the sharpness of the breeze, and I feel the freshness of the air and the chill on your skin that makes you feel alive and clean and aware of where your body meets the world outside it.

And the thing is that that wasn't what the Cape of Good Hope was like that day at all. It was hot, really hot; and too still with it, even there, oppressively so.  And it was noisy, rammed with Japanese tourists (that's another cliche but it, again, also happens to be true), shouting at each other to move, to smile, to wave at mum back home, with, in the background, the ever-present white noise of the ocean, stretching all the way from you to Antarctica.

But here, nearly three years later, I see none of that.  I see freedom and silence.  And escape.  The possibility that that seemingly endless expanse of water offers.  The knowledge that beyond you, for thousands of miles, is nothing.  Empty ocean, through which I could float, beyond reach.   

And I look at that picture and I see the birds.  And again I see freedom.  I ignore the brevity of their lives, and the hardship, and the struggle to survive, and I see the possibility of taking wing, of flying away.

And I find it curious, when I am, at the moment, calm and contented with my lot, that this is the picture that I chose... 

I am at my parents' and various other locations at the moment so internet access is intermittent, hence why I am posting this early, but as from Wednesday morning, the rest of the Gallery will be here.


  1. A very evocative picture, I can almost smell the sea :-D

  2. I really miss the sea. There's nothing quite like it for that sense of freedom and space.

  3. Oh what a fab picture. Being by the sea somehow blows all the cobwebs away and everything feels right.

  4. the V of the birds always makes me feel sad. I think it might be the end of summer feeling but always very sad :0(

  5. Brilliant picture, I love the sea so much ;)

  6. Great post and beautiful picture :)

  7. Great picture, thanks for sharing with us.

  8. Lovely photo, it really gives a feeling of freedom:) Jen

  9. Love the picture and the thoughts.

  10. Interesting that not only can a picture mean many things to different people, but many things to one person too.

  11. Such a great post, and a lovely picture.

  12. Amazing picture - can really feel the crispness and the freedom.

  13. A beautiful picture, so evocative. Makes me want to escape to the sea!

  14. Thank you everyone for such lovely comments and particular hellos to lots of new people. Delighted to see you, will be visiting you shortly!

    Kailexness - why thank you! It's that amazing ozone smell isn't it? Love it!

    Heather - I guess you're a million miles from the sea now? I remember being in Nepal and finding it odd to think that there was no sea....

    Tiddlyompompom - Cobwebs away! (I need the sea here, this is a house of spiders....)

    Kelloggsville - end of summer? Really interesting thought. You're absolutely right, it's that melancholic sense of the passing of time...

    Mirka - Me too! I was sorely tempted to move by the sea when we moved, but it wasn't really the right place for us...Still sort of wish we had though!

    DawnieBrown - hello there and thank you very much!

    Kateab - You're welcome (and welcome here too!)

    Jen - It does doesn't it? Which is, as you now know, odd because it wasn't like that at all!

    MuddynoSugar - Lovely to hear from you and thank you for the lovely comment too.

    KidsTravel2 - Hello there! I hadn't thought of that, but you're absolutely right

    Whatdid you do today - Hello to you too and a big thank you!

    Deer Baby - thank you! I thought so too.

    It's a Mummy's Life - me too! (although actually the Cape was much less romantic than I thought it was going to be!)


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