Keep Scrolling

How many times are we told to put down our phones and other devices and look instead out at the horizon, notice the natural world around us and to stop scrolling? If you read my blog regularly, I am also usually advocating exactly this! – Stop, notice and dwell in the natural world to retrieve a sense of balance and grounding before returning to our busy, ‘scrolling’ worlds. However, today I am saying, ‘scroll down’. Because we are all ‘technology literate’ you know what I mean. But have you ever ‘scrolled’ nature? Not sure what I mean? Well, scroll slowly down the photograph below…

The beach today

Did you know?

A scroll is a length of parchment, rolled to preserve it. In the ancient times, parchment as made from animal skins that would split and break if folded. As a result a scroll became used to being rolled and would spring back if flattened out. So the reader would tend to see only a section of the document at a time, as they unrolled the scroll – or ‘scrolled down’.

A reflective moment

Seeing only a section of the picture or text at a time can help shift our focus or helps us to appreciate the image or meaning in more detail. It is also a way of removing bias, or allowing the picture to be unaffected by what came before and what comes afterwards; letting it speak for itself. For example, I can take a walk on the beach and sweep my eye over the scenery but dismiss it from my mind because I am in a hurry, it looks like it did the day before, or tomorrow is going to be very busy so I need to think of this instead of paying attention to what I see now… What came before or what comes after has diminshed the present. Familiarity with the scene diminishes its detail. Time to stop. Breathe and scroll.

Did you pick apart the picture above by scrolling? The beautiful paint-pot blue, that slowly faded to pale pastel chalk-blue, then to a light green-marine, then to duck-egg white, then to blush orange, then to the thin lurking snout of Lundy Island, hunkered down like a recaltriant puppy with it’s paws by ears waiting to reprimanded for chewing a slipper to shreds…

Then the black of the distant sea, it’s blackness deepened by the white foam topping the waves, spray suggesting movement and the ripples in the dark sea communicating pent-up energy and dynamism. Did you linger a moment or two here, honing in on the silent churning just beneath the glossy surface?

Then more fluffy playful white waves, tinged with spray and lace. Did you notice the way the wave breaks from one side of the beach to the other if the waves hit the sands obliquely? Can you see the half unbroken wave? You can see the transition between fully broken, and unbroken wave – the messy spit of spray as change occurs. Did you linger here to relate to the struggles of change?

Captured is the moment of the unbroken wave before the energy spills forth in froth and fuss. See how it tips forward, contained and yet ready to spill, like a new bud bursting and stretching to split open to allow new growth.

Then we scroll down to a layer of silver-grey flecked with blues and greens, marbled with veins of lighter shades displaying movement and tension, the interplay between reflection and absorption of colour, the first rearrangements of change and disorganisation, chaos and churning; all pushing forward into the final trim of dark and light of the tiny wave tumbling gently towards you.

So much story behind that tiny wave.

The Voice of the Sea

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