One of winter’s last days was passing. It was a smudged world of rain and dusk. I walked along the shore under raindrops as fine as dust. They clung to my skin like dew, and formed clouds when I breathed. Before long I was coated and slick, like a seal pup. Smirr, we call it here.
One of winter’s last days was passing. I trudged past streetlamps and sodium lights gleaming in the haze and mirrored on wet sand. The smirr muffled the sounds of faint sirens and engines, hushing the peep-peep of oyster catchers and cries of gulls. The waves were softened. Looking heavenwards, all was tinted cobalt, around me was horizon-less. The night’s stars would soon come.
The weather was unkind to us, again. Damp, bitter February, and barely above zero. That was no reason not to venture outdoors. A neighbour had told us that she sometimes runs from our home in Portobello to Musselburgh, then onto the lagoons.
Blue and lush with a jewel-green bottom, and skirted by tropical forests, is what fictional lagoons conjure for me. Places of mystery: the splash of leaping, neon-scaled fish, the silent plummet of a stone. Adventure. Still, winter in Scotland could bring some natural beauty, at least; a retreat, a haven.
The sandbank was safe when we first started out, the three of us. Our friend urged caution, so we tested it: firm, little water underfoot, an expanse of sand around us. The earth was solid beneath our feet. Hearing the cries of gulls and oystercatchers, and seeing glimmers of colour in the shingle, we stepped onwards to explore.