Imagine yourself descending a steep stairway that has been hacked out of the raw, red-rock face of a cliff in Kerala, India.
The sea roars its welcome below you; tall palms wave too, their leafy shadows flirt shamelessly between you and the sun, casting weaving pattern-webs that at once cool and entrance. The sun, possessive of your attention, dazzles through the foliage all the brighter.
Your entire skin is present and loud crying in such a way you have never felt before. It’s in direct and constant translation between you and the worlds messengers. Heat, which at once prickles, soothes and sores, ants crawl and tickle, mosquitoes whine and warble their junky need; what you give them is life, what they leave you is lumps, blood-spill stains and a dependent itch to remember them by.
There is the cool of your sweat, slick in your armpits and between your legs, on your face, rolling like tears and smears on your sun glasses, stinging your eyes with cream and all at the grace and command of the burning sun.
Your feet, barefoot and used to the soft caress of wool and cotton, fitted soles of leather and cushioned padding of trainers are now in screaming observance of rock, grit, scolding sand and litter. There are shells and stones too amongst the plastic, glass and metal to dodge. Ye they are now fulfilling their true and designed purpose; to be ambassadors of you to the world, the first contact, the anchoring point between you and the earth.
On tiptoes and steadying hands you clamber across rocks, ruff with pockmarked faces. To either side of you a golden smile of sand stretches wide and welcoming. You hop and skip across the feet-fire sand, burning your soles like coals, into the cool wash of the wet sand and the swirling shoreline.
Waist deep you become at once present, feeling each and every splash and surge, the taste of salt, the seas breath in your hair. The conflict, this mighty war of elements for your attention and affection; Cool skin against hot, fast air against stubborn sand, rolling water against the constant sun. Embracing each, you surrender, lay on your back, float, feeling the lift and loose lightness.
Blue sky, the colour of hope fills up your world.
Lovingly rocked you are in the arms of the sea and sky, with only the sun and wind for company.
If you care to know, the soothing music of the seashore reminds you where the land is.
P e a c e full n e s s
Distantly there is the cry of Sea eagles and Red winged kites with wings the length of your outstretched arms. They swoop and circle in and out of your sight from their nests in the Mars red rock, green covered cliffs, one, three, five and seven. They rule the blue sky until the black of night takes over; then it’s the turn of the giant fruit bats to rule the thermals, rubbing out the stars with their passing.
How did you get here, to this post card paradise? You followed your heart of course. Why else would you dream of red wings framed against a blue sky, whilst you were back in the Spring of England.
You stand, the Indian Ocean drains down your shorts and legs, feet planted deep in the sand of Kerala. You look towards the setting sun, the first star shyly shows itself, we smile together, you and me, because that is how I remember you, miss you and at once feel close to you.
from Kerala with love,
I am so glad you are here.