The feeding edge

by | Jun 30, 2013 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

 The sun lingers on the inner harbour at the end of the day, and all is still.

The concrete wall at the jetty is as warm as toast, even though the day is filled with winter chill, nippy winds and freezing wells of shade. But here I can snatch half an hour to do my tai chi and sit in the sun.

 People disappear from the inner harbour beaches once the tide goes out. The sand gives way to layers of mud and weed. It becomes squelchy and hard to walk on. But out there at the tide’s edge, visitors are flocking in to feed. This is the place of the kai moana, food from the sea. It’s rich with nutrients: tiny fish, sea snails and all the little morsels that seabirds love.

Gulls, waders and herons are busy dipping their beaks in and out of the rich mud. Meanwhile I sit with my back against the wall, and watch. Soon I too will feed, but for now watching the birds feasting is enough.
When I studied ecology I was told that estuaries are some of the most fertile places on earth:  the ‘nurseries of the sea’ in fact. This inner harbour feels estuarine, with its quiet rhythms and tides that come and go while yachts bob contentedly on the surface.

I think how often I seek the edge in my inner worlds, and how my creative spirit is fed by rich pickings beyond the conventional trails. As I watch the birds feeding, I feel a oneness with them. I find myself dipping for words, seeking to pull up a poem. It hasn’t quite emerged yet, but in the quiet of winter I know it’s there, waiting maybe for another tide. One of the gifts of winter is that everything slows down. There’s no rush.


  1. Lynley

    I particularly like your third photo Juliet. The clouds look as if someone has written lines of poetry in the sky and with a flourish at the end of several lines!

  2. juliet

    * Lynley, you are so right. I hadn’t even noticed the clouds until I posted the photo. Thank you.

  3. Hotly Spiced

    The images are beautiful. I think on a cold day, standing near that warm rock wall is exactly where I would want to be. xx

  4. juliet

    Charlie, there’s nothing like a rock wall where the sun has been soaking into it all day. And it’s sheltered from most wind directions too. Thank you.

  5. Penny O'Neill

    Your words and pictures are pure poetry, Juliet. It is oddly cool here right now. Sweater weather in July, a month where we are usually wearing light clothing. I feel quite at home with your images as I sit with a sweater here sipping my tea.

  6. Friko

    Lovely, Juliet.

    There is something about a lonely beach which nurtures the soul.

  7. juliet

    * Penny, what a lovely comment. Sounds as if your season is turning its head towards ours. Fancy sitting in a sweater in July – ‘oddly cool’ indeed.

    * Friko, that is so true. A lonely beach is so spacious.

    Thank you, Penny and Friko.

  8. Marja

    oh what a beautiful environment It’s poetry in itself And yes in quiet restful times poems will emerge.

  9. Vicki Lane

    Lovely pictures — I especially like the first.

  10. juliet

    * Marja, yes it’s very quiet and restful there. Good for the Muse. Thank you.

    * Vicki, thank you. I like that one too.

  11. cecilia g

    I love the thought of dipping, waiting to pull up a poem.. One day i will brave enough to write a poem.. lovely lovely images of home.. c

  12. juliet

    Celi, nice to see you here. The poem did arrive the next day. I pulled it up like a silver fish. Thank you.


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