A little while ago I decided to rise to the challenge of writing in a hundred words or fewer about something that really delighted me, so that I could upload it to the Waterstone’s Delight website. I found out about the website when I bumped into the web developers in a pub on the South Bank up in London. The website was to go live on the very next day. It meant that for a short while, my piece was the most visited on the site.
The thing I love about the idea of Waterstone’s Delight is its guiding light: that in a time when things are really grim, when no-one’s got any money and tv newsreaders keep telling you that the world is about to get blown away in a banking disaster of Apocalyptic proportions, you can still focus on the the good things in life. And the fact is, there are plenty of them.
There are golden places in your mind, stored up, filled up with moments of delight, like the honey from a gorgeous summer or top quality champagne that’s tucked away in a safe place, just waiting for you to revisit and savour again. Right there, in your noddle – all the hope and aspiration and delight you could ever possibly want. And what’s even better about what you’ve got in your head as opposed to champagne or honey, is that no matter how much you drink of it, or eat of it, there’s always more to come. You can bask in the sunlight of a single thought for a thousand years, if you’re minded to live that long. It’s better than tv.
And what’s more you don’t even have to subscribe.
So, here is my piece below. I hope you enjoy
Sand And Sea
Let me tell you about the sea, and the tides. For in their movements there is a delight to be found – a gentle one as soft as sunlight on the water, that laughs like the gurgle of the ocean caressing the shore.
When the full moon comes there is a sand bank close to my house that is laid bare for just a few hours. It is a massive expanse of sand that stretches flat beneath the sky, a transitory landscape. At each appearance, the sand bank is different, its character changed with the shifting seasons, new shapes sculpted in the sand by the draining sea.
A few evenings ago, as I walked out more than a mile onto the sand bank, the sea was reflecting the dying summer sunset with a satisfaction at a job nearly completed. The season, it seemed, was putting on its woolly jumper. The last dog-ends of the summer were burning themselves out under the windless shelter of seawalls. My love and I kicked around on the sand, a lunar landscape revealed by the moon’s movements. We saw horses in the sea. Of such events are the bottled tinctures of future delight made. A potent brew.