online: 23 march 2009
modified: 12, 13 march 2009

12 march 2009 on an islet

Ile Siec

...i've just walked on recent seabed to the islet (called Enez Lec or Ile Siec) about half a mile or a kilometre from the shore... a few people are gathering shellfish but they are so far away that i feel as if alone here with the seabirds on this 50 x 50 metres of windblown tussocky grass and wreckage above the tideline...

...surrounded by pebble banks and seaweed and rock pools and occasional fishing lines set with eel-like creatures as bait... out beyond is La Manche, the English Channel, through which the North Sea joins the Atlantic and in which are more islets exposed only at low tide... today the lowest visible sand banks are about 4 to 6 metres (perhaps more) below the highest point from where i am writing this... ... will be several hours before this peninsula returns to being an island and i am not accustomed to being in a place where if i stay too long i'll be marooned... good practice for an advocate of things temporary and changeable, believing that all of nature is in constant flux (though this is still a new perception which has existed, i suppose, for only a century or two)...

a few hours later:
...writing now in the bower, to watch through a glass wall the tide rise as the path to the islet gradually changes from broad sand bank to narrow ithsmus... one has to look intently not to miss the brief moments when the disappearing parts of this seascape go under water... as i watch this happening someone is trying to encircle a widening lake or lagoon with dry feet before it connects to the sea... and he or she just manages it...

...and now, as i look up again from this writing, i am surprised at the rapid disappearance of the whole beach and its replacement by a little ocean in which are a dozen or so islets of rock and seaweed... and soon they too will be under water... leaving only the grassy Ile Siec and the tips of a few rocks above the surface...

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