Country diary: nature shakes and shimmers in this watery world


Slapton Ley, Devon: After drawing for an hour I have only a page of scribbles – pathetic attempts to describe this place

This is a disappearing watery world – always on the verge of surrender to the churning belt of brine beyond the shingle bank.

The path in midwinter is flooded and, standing with my sketchbook, feet like the reeds’ in the clear dark water, I think of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem Sandpiper: “… that every so often the world is bound to shake”. This fragile place shakes and shimmers continuously. Nothing is still.

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