Black Swan

A black swan cuts a singular path through the blue air… I turn my eyes upward for just a moment, surveying the apparent dome of the summer sky. Unusual cloud formations, seemingly motionless despite the welcome breeze, give the scene a surreal sense of pause… turning back the swan has disappeared from sight. A lone gull crosses my field of vision, black-tipped wings rising and falling rhythmically and unhurried; sun glinting on its pure-white body.

A yacht moves out into the bay, so slowly it could be imagined to be drifting, or even shrinking. Departing at a diagonal from me, its sail has already risen above the horizon, where fifteen minutes ago it had looked close enough to touch… now its mast is barely perceptible where sea meets sky; cobalt touching pale-blue serenity.

Closer to the shore waves of sea-green capped with frothy white collapse invitingly on the dampened water’s-edge. A dark-haired little girl in a primrose-yellow top runs, bare-legged and carefree, through the surf… a black Labrador streaks past her, bounding into the water in hot pursuit of a tennis ball.

The glorious fragrance of the ocean fills my senses; its sound drowned out by the cacophony of the fairground beyond the promenade that lies behind me. The whirring and intermittent screams can’t disturb the deep peace into which I have joyfully slipped, hot sun on my back and pen in my hand.

More gulls wheel above me now; raucously declaring their presence, and four more yachts appear from behind the rocks concealing the harbour wall… soon to be followed by a fifth. The first yacht is now a mere dot on the skyline.

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