Day after day, the Scotch mist smothered the land, and the world became darker and greyer and wetter. Not a day passed without rain, and the precipiation very rarely stopped. Drizzly rain, dripping rain, splashing rain, torrential rain… the endless clouds tried every trick they could think of. When the rain did stop, it was only for a breathing space, and before long it started again.

As it was supposed to be midsummer, Algy was beginning to feel a wee bit discouraged, but he was happy to see that at least the wild irises at the edge of the sand dunes were doing their best to provide a few bursts of sunshine. As he leaned back on the tall, sturdy leaves, he remembered some lines from a poem:

Weed, moss-weed,
root tangled in sand,
sea-iris, brittle flower,
one petal like a shell
is broken,
and you print a shadow
like a thin twig.

Fortunate one,
scented and stinging,
rigid myrrh-bud,
sweet and salt—you are wind
in our nostrils.

[Algy is quoting part I of the poem Sea Iris by the 20th century American poet H. D.]


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