We got matching yellow hats that day. 
From Wilko’s I think, plus a hand towel each. 
Oh, and we dropped by a charity shop, 
rummaged hastily...
‘There must be a couple here somewhere?’ - 
emerging exuberant with our finds!
One over-sized, simply enormous, fluffy jumper that will swamp her perfectly. 
A dreadful pink towelled dressing gown for me. 
No one has been more thrilled with an ad hoc purchase - 
because now we were ready. 
We had swimsuits already destined for a chlorine pool. 

But we had stopped by the sea. 
That was our only mistake...

Because once feet are on sand, 
once eyes lock on that expanse, 
once two hearts collude to go in…

And yes, it was November.
And yes, it was the North Sea.
And yes, just over the harbour wall the sea was tumultuous, 
a giant storm just 24hrs away. 

The wind whipped up waves and brought them crashing in crescendo, 
heaving all the way along the harbour wall. 
Sending waterfalls cascading into our safe harbour - 
great tears of letting go. 

Our harbour: for those stolen minutes, 
That wall: holding the raging water;
and our raging tyrants at bay. 

Two yellow hats,
striding purposefully into the deep. 
hands held, 
bottoms clenched, 
while water ascends, 
biting cold
 rides up to our 
beating hearts.
Where we are brilliantly 
alive, 
bright,
and good. 

Before the rub down and the tea, 
before the frozen toes and shivers, 
before the bacon sandwich and dirty chips.

But after…

After the surging,
after the break, 
after the froth...
Hung sea mist, 
suspended in the wind like dust, 
hanging on the light already there, 
casting our own streak of rainbow. 
Making a private promise, on this side of the tumultuous sea - 
that we are safe within our friendship walls. 



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