Saturday, 2 April 2011

Sunrise on the Last Mornings

The last few days I've been waking early. Really early. Like 03:30 or 04:00. It's impossible to go back to sleep with so many things churning in my mind. Today is Saturday 2nd April. In seven days time I will be waking up in the UK.

I might just lie, or read a bit or turn to the Internet. Sunrise is around six - probably a bit before, but recently I haven't seen it come over the horizon because of low, distant cloud. If I get my timing right I'll take a cuppa across the road and watch the sun emerge over the sea, red, orange and gold through the thinning haze. And, with luck, light will be reflected in a broad, wavering carpet stretching towards infinity.

The sea at this time is silver-grey and almost merges with the cloud. Nearly out of sight there's the silhouette of a container ship or a trawler boat. Little single-man fibreglass boats are dotted right across the bay - at night time the sea is sprinkled with sparks from their kerosene lanterns. Already, some are returning to the harbour - rowed by lean, fit, burnt, sweating bodies. It's a huge distance for some and it must take an hour or more. Progress is imperceptible. The ones further away pull up on a closer beach - perhaps their catch is sold to local guest houses. Often there are little thatched covers along the beach where a bicycle lives nightly. Maybe the fish are taken to market on two wheels.

All the time there is a roar from the sea as the waves erupt and unroll with a thunderous din, seething, boiling. The sand now is much higher than it was six months ago - but perhaps the same as a year ago. It covers the bottom treads of the make-shift wooden stairways. And the beach is dotted with holes - some one centimetre, some ten. The crab inhabitants emerge, scuttle about for a bit, visit other holes and then are on the sea-line. Maybe the foam contains rich pickings. They venture further and get washed into the depths.

The sea-roar is constant. On wilder days I swear you can feel the ground judder beneath your feet. But today there's nothing but the noise. And as far as I can see - which is miles - the beach is empty, save for a few fishermen pulling in a huge net. There's gentle sweeping and brushing-up of leaves going on in the hotels, guest houses and restaurants behind me. My time here is trickling through my fingers but the calm, the coolness, the light, the view, and the natural order of things - for now, they're all mine!


  1. This is pretty beautiful- the pictures and description. I almost feel like I'm there, the way you've written about it feels very calm and serene.

  2. Wow, such a beautiful description. It must be so hard for you to leave!
    Best of luck!

  3. Thank you, Joy and Naomi. I'm glad you like the photos and description. I wanted to write something which might remind me of how I feel now, when I look back on this in a few years' time - my memory not being the best! I'm really privileged to have lived here - it's very special.

  4. Spectacular photos and lovely words too. Enjoy the last week in SriLanka.

  5. Clive these photos are so beautiful. You have had so many special times and luckily for us you have shared these magical experiences. Remain positive as your new dawn arises. More memorable times are ahead.
    Cheers Verona

  6. Thank you for visiting and for your comments, Celia and Verona! I did try to make the most of my last few days - they were busily filled with enjoyable things. But all too quickly I find myself back in the UK. I have a little more to write about my time in Sri Lanka and more photos to share. That'll come in the next few days I hope. I don't ever want to forget the magical times and lovely Sri Lankan people - another world but one in which I felt very much at home in.

  7. Hope things are well with you. I have not checked in to your blog for sometime and wondered if you were back in the UK yet. Beautiful pictures and I am sure you will appreciate the time you took to document your thoughts & surroundings when you look back. I am sending lots of positive thoughts and wishes your way.
    Take care! Evelyn