Light and Dark

I have been wanting to put a photo up of this stone for ages. I found it some years ago, on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, in a tiny little cove known as Ram’s Grove. It’s coincidentally pretty close to the cave where the burial of a Neanderthal body took place, the so-called Red Lady of Paviland(it was actually a man!) It’s one of the oldest known human burials, where ritual took place using red ochre and flowering plants.

The time I found this stone, we were camping  a few miles away and had slipped down at the end of the day for a paddle. The tide was coming in quite fast and my husband spotted a large boulder with the very clear sign on it, of a white image embedded in black rock. I managed a quick and rather fuzzy picture of it before the tide covered it. I was very taken with it as it was an almost perfect natural yin-yang sign, but it was a massive boulder, embedded deeply among other rocks. I prayed out loud, that I might find a similar stone that I could take home with me and when I finished those words, I glanced down and by my feet was the stone above. I nearly fell over. I was shocked. So seldom are prayers answered THAT fast, after all.

I’ve kept it close ever since as a talisman and as a reminder that in light there is always dark and in dark there is always light, and also that just sometimes, you do get what you ask for in life, that prayer does work and finally, that God has a rather whimsical sense of humour.


The shores of sleep last night
Were not of soft white sand,
Strewn with intriguing driftwood,
Magical wave-smoothed rocks
And shining wine-coloured weed
Cast up from the deep.
No. The shores of sleep last night
Were strewn for miles
With the wrecks of dreams,
The hulks of hope
And fragments of fantasies,
Lying like beached and decaying whales.
Some looked whole and entire
Till I peered through portholes
And found them empty, no more than shells.
I would be a beachcomber,
Gathering material for my work
As I patrol this shoreline,
But I cannot work with this.
I will wait till the next storm
Washes the strand clean
Of cast-up wreckage
And leaves me with the flotsam
I can fashion and transform.

I don’t think so, somehow…

 I saw this sign today on my walk back from the beach. It’s been a few degrees above freezing, with a lazy wind.

I am told that this special beach is used all year round, but I never go that far, and turn back before my dog encounters someone who is not expecting a cold wet nose somewhere usually hidden….