To see a World in a Grain of Sand

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour. – William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

In my rather small lockdown world, a walk on the beach at low tide is a real treat, and sharing it with a friend on a warm sunny afternoon is even better. I didn’t quite see a world in a grain of sand, but I did see aerial views of deltas and estuaries in miniature.

At low tide, the beach between Lyme Regis and Charmouth is a watery, very gently undulating plain running down to the sea, marked with dusky dapples and lines – and these intriguing runnels, playas and fans, reminiscent variously of forced rhubarb, trees, wrought iron fence finials and fleurs du lis. I spent a happy half-hour walking along and spotting the patterns at my feet.

It’s been very wet, and quite stormy recently, and the cliffs have taken a pounding. While we were there, we could hear the occasional wet slap of another dollop of clay falling down the cliffs. Some other time, I’ll write about the haul of old electrical gubbins and bonfire glass I rescued from higher up the beach, but for now, I’ll leave you with a general view of the beach.

The view towards Charmouth