Now Norway has closed its border we can’t reach the west coast, our nearest bit of sea. When we’re in England we live near the sea and a river estuary. This week I read online that we were invited to think about this particular bit of sea and reflect on what it means to us by writing it (the sea) a letter.
It seemed a crazy idea. Thinking of the sea was like thinking of everything that is the opposite of here now. The sea is soft, blue, wet, and moving – the landscape here white, frozen, and still. So I wrote the letter.
I miss you. Your blue grey shine, your swelling and swooping up back and forwards. I miss your coldness when I dip myself in and float on your fishy back. I can’t come to see you now – there are no flights, the borders are closed, we’re socially distant. I often think of you, and all your flowing freedom.
I have an idea though. Since I can’t reach you, perhaps you might consider coming to see me? It would be an adventure for sure. I’ve done a bit of research and come up with a plan. Let me know if this is something you might be up for.
First of all, head out of the estuary to the open sea, as you often do. You can turn right or left – it doesn’t matter. I think right would be best. Swim along the coast, heading out of Lyme Bay, and continue along the rocky coast, as far as you can go. Lands End! Hold your breath, it can get choppy, but make sure you catch the right current going north. Keep Ireland to your left as you head up to the Scottish coast.
Somewhere near there you’ll notice a distinct warmth from the west. You can join this, for a warm ride. It’s the Norwegian Atlantic current, and you can swim in a comfortable 10 degrees just above it. Allow it to sweep you out over the North Sea to the Norwegian coast. Then follow the coast northwards. You need to keep a steely resolve because you’ll be tempted by every passing fjord. Don’t give in to temptation! A trip up the fjord could delay you weeks. Keep swimming ahead, north up the coast until finally you’ll see the Lofoten islands spreading out west of you. To the east, a port, and it’s here you have to get off the current.
It’s important to follow the next instructions very closely, as it will be the trickiest part of your journey. Once you’ve got off the current, hang around outside the port. Feel the warm air rising from the sea. Think yourself light, light, airy. If you do this for long enough you’ll find you can float up into the sky, and join a whole throng of humid particles, in a soft white cloud. I think you’ll like this part!
The cloud will float off towards the land – just hang on. There are mountains ahead, high and magnificent, and you’ll float high over them – what a view! It’s really important to remember to hang on though. Plenty of particles will decide to get off here, but don’t!
If you’ve managed to hang on, the cloud will continue over the mountains, dropping some passengers on the way. It will feel cold, but this will help you hang on – you’ll freeze into position. The cloud will float eastwards, inland to Sweden. Eventually in the distance you’ll see a plume of smoke in the sky – the iron ore mine. Many will leave the cloud here, but hang on just a bit longer. Beyond there, past the church, look down – there’s a hill and a row of wooden houses. Mine is the yellow one! Jump as soon as you see it.
You’ll float down in a shower of white flakes, glimmering in the bright light of spring. I’ll be looking out my living room window, and will see you as you fall, settling along the hidden flower bed, and lying along the window sill. I’ll be so pleased to see you!
Let me know what you think.
your swimming friend