Algy tucked himself in between the sharp, spiky clumps of Marram grass and leaned back on the sand, which was still damp in patches from all the rain which had fallen during the gales. He was fascinated by the semicircles that single blades of the pointed grass had drawn in the sand – guided, no doubt, by the wind – and he wondered whether he could use one to make a sand drawing himself, but decided that he was too clumsy.
As he gazed at the beautiful colours of the sky and the sea, Algy reflected that he had almost forgotten what such colours looked like – it had been such an exceptionally grey summer. Although there were no pine trees here, the scene reminded him of a long forgotten poem:
There I know blue, blue water,
And a waving line of land,
With pines that grow in a wind-swept row
As set by a dreamer’s hand;
And where the winds will, in hollow or hill,
Sand and sand and sand.
Sand as soft as a snowfall —
Drifting, eddying, whirled —
Sweeping into the valleys,
Over the grasses swirled,
And billowing up to the tree-tops
That look out on the world.
Sand of romantic patterns
New for each passer fleet.
Here a flower has lain, there the leaf-like chain
That was marked by a sea-gull’s feet;
And the pebbled trace as of scalloped lace
Where the waves and the shore-line meet.
Gleaming sands in the morning
When the little waves run white,
While gay wings fan the shining span
And float a song in flight;
And the lupine blue spreads a heaven new
Where the stars might rest till night.
[Algy is quoting from the poem The Sand Dunes by the 20th century American poet Janet Norris Bangs.]