Countless Old Years’ Eves were celebrated on chilly beaches sprawled around a bonfire watching the sun come up. (Odd how we considered ourselves children of the 60’s… Mary Quant, marijuana and all that… yet we were in fact a conservative carry-over from the 50’s morals and modesty.) And it seems the same applies today... at least here in the southern hemisphere. The sun coming up on a new year is still celebrated on the beach with a bonfire.
What is it about watching a New Year’s sun pop over the horizon that is any different to watching the sun come up on a normal day? The wide horisons of sea and sky seem to mute the moment while at the same time the sea's energy is tangible. We convince ourselves it’s different. Fresh starts. New potentials. In a way like the unwritten page or screen staring back blankly waiting for you to make the first mark every morning. Anything is possible if you can only make the right mark. There’s a certain fragility to the moment… try too hard and you might fail. But at the same time there’s an energy to start fresh. To capture something magical. It's a moment on the cusp, when you move from the old to the new.
So when I return to London and unpack my suitcase and discover little gritty pockets of sand caught in hems and seams, and the smell of the sea still clinging damply to an old pair of jeans, hopefully I'll be galvanised by the same sense of calm energy when I face a new page. A sort of magical process.
And on the beach at 5.30 am this morning with a few dolphins surfing the waves as the sun came up, (my hordes of 35 year olds still fast asleep) everything seemed magical!