I’ve got a favourtie place in the world, I dream of it so often – I don’t know if I’ll ever see it again.
There’s a little village called Gatehouse-of-Fleet in South West Scotland. The River Fleet runs straight through the middle of it and out in to the Estuary. When the tide’s out, there’s a huge beach and when not, there’s a giant rockface that the waves crash against.
Behind that rockface is a caravan park. We’re not talking trailer park with back to back vans – you could walk here for a while before you even saw the sign of another person. I spent my childhood holidays here. I last saw it when I was 15.
There’s a small path that leads up a hill – not that you could call it a path, there’s barely enough room to put two feet, let alone a person. It’s covered with rocks, not left by people but from the face it leads on to. There’s grass on either side leading into bracken and then pine trees. When you reach the top it leads into an ever so slight clearing where a pinnacle stands. It’s in memory of a poet. Funny I can remember that one now, while bringing back the memory – I’d never have thought to mention it otherwise.
There’s a little path beyond that, the ground flattens out though and it takes you to a balcony, surrounded by gorse, overlooking the ocean. I rarely take that path. If you look closely there’s another, branching off to the left. You wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t know it was there – so few people follow it.
You have to fight your way to through the bushes and out onto the rock face but once you’re there it’s worth it. This is my spot, a little outcropping backing onto gorse bushes. I don’t kow how I ever found it. You could climb up here from the beach if the tide was out but it would be hard – I’ve done it once before but it’s not easy, somehow getting back down never seems as bad though.
From here I can see the edge of the Fleet running out into the estuary, it’s on my left but blocked by the rocks, I guess I can see it really – I think things blur with time. Ahead of me, on the other side, a beach and fields for miles – Id like to say the sun rises over that hill but it would sound really clichéd and it’s wrong anyway, it rises over Laurieston and I can’t see that from here.
Along my right I can see Cat Craig, it’s a small island, almost a rock sticking out of the sand. The bottom is just rock, when the tide comes in it’s covered. The top half is covered in gorse again and there’s a mis-shapen pine tree in the middle, it looks like it’s leaning out to sea. Just beyond it is another island, much larger, but I forget now what it’s called.
When the sun’s out all you can see for miles is its reflection on the sea, it’s gorgeous. On rougher days you can’t see that far but the waves crashing against the rocks around you are amazing. Every crash is like a clap of thunder of the sea, you hear the spray as it falls.
When I need peace I think of sitting on that rockface, listening to the ocean, breathing in the salt sea air.