Everybody has their spring rituals I’m sure and for us, it is a walk down to the sea again, that stretch of blue that frames our horizon The sea so close that it frames our days and yet with winter jobs to do in the stables, it is so very so very far away. But with the weather set fair on Saturday we set off to walk across the couple of fields that leads to Trebarvah and then follow the narrow lane down to the fork to towards the coastal footpath in what has become our own spring ritual – the first walk to the sea for the year!
Last year I chronicled the May flowers above the sea in my “Walk into summer”and this year the first swathe of May flowers with the Perranuthnoe’s beach far below us, was the first glimpse of our spring walk that merited a photo stop or brief pause before I panted after Charles who after all was carrying our lunch in his back pack!
As always in the spring I wanted to revisit the spring flowers that flourish in the sometimes hostile environment of coastal winter gales, only to spring to life and flower in the spring. And there they were the deep blue of the native bluebell the swathes or dreamy blue squills and the flower I had wanted to capture on this walk the Sea Pink forming soft hummocks on the coastal stoop and clinging to crevices in the rock face. The National Trust had been strimming the path before us and exposed tiny dainty violets on the side of the path………..but I had to catch up with the picnic!
We passed a bird watcher perfectly disguised in his camouflage suit and hat with a camera lens as big as bucket, before dropping down the cliff to a silent cove. Perhaps we walked more carefully this year and as I plotted my route across the rocky foreshore, I reflected on how glibly we take the shore footedness of youth. But the picnic was great and Charles had concealed a bottle of wine in his pack to celebrate our special spring pilgrimage to the sea again. With every last crumb consumed it was quite delightful to listen to the sea lapping in and watch the blue sky above us through half closed eyes with the gulls wheeling overhead.
Cornwall’s own spring rituals
Throughout Cornwall there will be spring rituals the Padstow Obby Oss for instance with different coloured osses that dance through the streets in an ancient fertility ritual – it is said that a maiden caught under the skirt will fall pregnant within the year after all. Or maybe the Helston Flora Dance next Saturday – the time honoured ritual that sees dancers wave in and out of the houses and along Holston’s streets. But for me it is a walk to the sea again and a visit to the May flowers and watching the clouds overhead through half closed eyes.