Sep 17


when i went to formby point it was a cloudy day
chilly even though it was july. 
another girl and i took the train out all alone
into the town. 
we bought sandwiches and kinder surprise eggs at waitrose
then asked the lady in the bakery for directions
and then we walked. 
we had no idea where we were going
or how far away the train station was from here. 
we must've walked several miles all told, 
past fancy houses with names like
'greystoke hall'
and places that looked just like those places only a little cleaner
where rich american tourists could stay. 
eventually we reached the point. 
we slid through behind the cars into the nature conservatory
hoping that we wouldn't need passes and, 
if we did, 
that no one would notice. 
and then we walked some more. 
this time, through forests. 
i picked up a magpie feather from the ground. 
later, i washed it out in the surf and stuck it in my hair. 
we wandered in circles through the woods for another hour
and i told my friend all about celtic mythology
and the fairy faith in ireland
and to her credit, she listened. 
we passed a rabbit,
frozen in the middle of the road
which ran away when we saw it. 
and then we reached the sand dunes. 
doc martens on (such a good choice for walking), 
i struggled up the edge of it
while she talked about camus and spiritual significance 
and i listened with half my brain
and with the other half, 
hoped i'd reach the top of the hill. 
then we did. 
and there the beach spread. 
the tide was out, 
and little pools lay spread out beneath us. 
the people little outlines, too far away to be clear. 
all around us the woods were spread, 
and the sand and the mist and the grey sky. 
we took off our shoes and shouted and spun around on the top of the dune
and i think we got drunk off of nature. 
it was one of the most incredible places i'd ever been
and i'd gotten there myself. 
later we soaked our pant legs and walked around in the surf
where the greyish ocean stretched on forever towards ireland. 
she wrote her name in the surf so it would get washed away
and then below it,
she added:
'i am merely a tadpole in the pond of life.'
the tide was already coming in, 
so it's just as well it got washed away. 
we took the train back into town after six pm, 
with soaking pants and a dubiously clean magpie feather
and a hollow feeling where the gray sky and the sea had been.