Rocks and Mountain Islands By Tanya Fillbrook

I was telling myself I could do this, get to the top of my world where I could sit and stretch well-worked legs after little lifts of increased elevation. First, I had to sidestep to dodge the algae, slippery with little limpets clinging on, imprinting their way across the fragmented pieces of imbedded stone. I loved it so much the blush of my cheeks became fuller with each tread the further up I went. Looking down, I felt like a diver on a string of happiness watching the azure blue ocean open up wider with every breaking wave, ready to dive-bomb. I gasp at its flowing beauty.

I find a ledge to slip my arched feet into and pause there, just for a few seconds and the ascent starts all over again. The rocky tor was broad in greyish hues, and despite it not being as intense as ‘’Ben Nevis’’ it was hard work trying to reach the winning goal, but a rush of adrenaline spurred me into action again, and the sky, the rocks, the island, and surrounding water engulfed every sense in my proceeding body.

The water pipit bird over my left shoulder flits and flirts with the dancing breezes of time, taking me higher to the cliff above my head. Each new rock fragment of varying sizes glistened; pearly particles shimmered, and I stretched higher, then higher still.

I had to finish the task remaining, aware of the incoming tide soon to catch me up. Rock scrambling makes me feel alive in every way and involves little dashes of bouldering; running up the lower rocks keeps my legs strong. There is so much freedom without a need for rope.

My gait is steady and on the rise as I haul myself up one higher peak then down another jumping across the coloured layers, and then up again, and again. My piece of paradise is in sight now: one last pull. I call out to the seascape in glee,and confidence knowing that despite my vertigo, I have completed what I set out to do all the many years before…

Here I form a pose of fulfillment by my exercised limbs, and here I’ll sit for a while longer until the return trip across, and down, as I can see the tide turning. The water pipit is back and guides my way on the descending craggs. I feel I’m surrounded by a mountain island as I slowly gaze up to the space I just climbed down, the ocean spray battering closer to the rock’s underparts. I have not tired too much — and the sand sheets I can see below. I can’t wait until tomorrow when it all starts over again.


Tanya Fillbrook is a nature writer who focuses on conservation and the importance of ecosystems. The Bird can be found in Friday Flash Fiction.


Photo By Dimitris Vetsikas

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