Monday, June 16, 2008

Recapturing Childhood Magic

When I was a child, we used to get taken on these big jolly picnics with a whole gang from the amdram crowd, including lots of other kids. We'd hike down the steep path from Beachy Head, little ones on shoulders, to a secluded sandy beach under the cliffs and spend long summer Sundays playing rounders, swimming, and going off exploring caves and rockpools while the grown-ups sunbathed. I once even found a fossil there. They were happy times, and I've held that beach in my memory as a place of childhood magic ever since.

On Saturday I finally went back there, hoping to recapture those carefree days and to share it with a few special friends. Contrary to all forecasts, the weather was perfect, with just the right amount of wind for kite-flying, and the place itself was just as beautiful and magical as I'd remembered it. Apart from the odd passing hiker or two, we had the whole beach to ourselves all afternoon, and time seemed to stand still as each of us soaked up the wonderfully tranquil atmosphere. If it hadn't been for the incoming tide, we could have easily sat there all evening - I don't think anyone wanted it to end.

Dragging out the day as much as possible, we stopped for a game of frisbee on the cricket green on the walk back - although the combination of cheap frisbee and a gathering wind made it a little frustrating. It was especially satisfying to pause and appreciate the sea in all its sparkly glory, away from the cheap distractions of Brighton promenade. I even had a brief pang of nostalgia for Eastbourne, as a crystal clear view of the town spread out below us. Sitting in the back of Olly's estate (perfect for picnics!) on the drive back, I was overcome by a severe case of the warm fuzzies, and an immense affection for my fellow passengers. It had been a truly lovely day.


1 comment:

  1. It was indeed an utterly transcendental day. Thank you so much for sharing such a magical place.

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