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The sea: a friend 

[58.57490693712169, -4.731281805113239]
Mandy Haggith

The following poem (and pieces of poem-ish writing) was written using the words and phrases of project participants in meetings and interviews, some online, some in person, in response to questions about their experiences of swimming, paddling and sailing around the coast of the northwest Highland Geopark area (i.e. the north coast and west coast…

The sea: 

a friend and refuge, 

steady, steadfast.

I get strength from its vastness,

its space,

its sounds, 

its silence.


I like swimming in all weathers. 

I miss daylight in winter. 

bouncing around in this big body of water

I become part of the light 

and feel so much brighter. 


I respect this friend. 

I’ve been smashed onto rocks.

I’ve stayed in too long 

and received a delayed cold shock. 

The pain made me

respect my friend some more. 


If I had to choose 

between mountains and sea

I’d probably go for sea. 

We’re so lucky, aren’t we, 

to have them both.


It’s a friend for life. 

When I’m away

the thing I miss most

apart from the cat

is the sea. 


I’m aware this is irrational. 

That’s how it is. 

I love it. 

It’s changeable,

different every time. 

There’s always motion

in the ocean.

(With thanks to Katja Riek)