Walking by the sea. I took off my shoes and let the waves wash over my bare feet. Mills, my father’s whippet, was with me. Now and again I raced her over the sand. She would shimmy past me like a rugby wing back avoiding a tackle. I needed to feel like a teenager again. Needed to reassert a vigorous ongoing relationship with the soil underfoot. Finally I sat on some rocks and watched the waves.
When I turned inland I saw two moving white columns in the sky which at first glance I thought was smoke. The two encroaching formations rippled into funnels and then spread out beneath the labyrinthine coral of clouds into fans. My vision blurred for a moment. Then I realised I was witnessing two perfectly synchronised flocks of birds. The abstract shapes they formed were flawless . I stood with my hands on my head as the birds tapered into a long undulating line which gently vanished behind the surface of things. The same thing happens when people die - they vanish behind the surface of things.