Describing Words


Amelia says that the waves that roll onto the distant reef at low tide look like a chaotic line of girls doing the cancan; their foamy rolls the snow-white of uplifted petticoats.  The ocean is myriad blues and greens, over the sand it runs the colour of sea glass: the palest jade so that I can see the ripples cast curls of bright sunshine on the sand beneath, with a little depth the colour intensifies so that I know, at low tide, where the perfect swimming spots are: sandy underfoot but deep enough that I might be fully, coolly immersed. And far out to my dart straight horizons – no wonder the earliest explorers imagined the world flat for from here it looks it, as if were i to venture that far I may fall clean off the edge – the water turns the darkest inkiest blues. Nearly black.


At low tide, small sand banks and corals outcrops raise their heads above the water as stepping stones. Sometimes we use them as such, when making our way out to deeper water to swim. When the tide turns, it will do so quickly, one moment the sand island that I see clearly now, large enough to bowl cricket balls, is high and dry and the next swallowed by the incoming sea which will chase quickly up the beach until waves crash and rinse the sand clean. By midnight it will have slunk back, and I will walk, as I did last night, on a beach that glows in the light of a fullfat moon.


The sky is absolutely clear, pale blue deepening to azure when I tip my head back to look directly above me.  No clouds. Not a single one.

It is a huge view, we drink it in from the wide verandah upon which both my daughter and I sit to write. As huge as it is, we have no difficulty finding enough words to describe it.

But Amelia still cannot articulate the pain that felled her directly in front of where I sit now. She is well now. She limps. She is a wordsmith. But she cannot describe the pain that day.


6 Responses to “Describing Words”

  1. Rosie Says:

    So very glad to hear Amelia is recovering so well & so quickly & is up & about once more. I hope you’ve recovered from it all too. Keep writing your beautiful words, they transport us.

  2. iotamanhattan Says:

    Is she a writer by profession?

  3. Ad dy Says:

    One day at a time. I’m sure she’ll be better soon. Meanwhile, that is some view to look at while she recuperates.

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