We drove through one hundred miles of rain to reach it. From South Shropshire to the Welsh coast clouds piled on clouds and the rain dashed down the windscreen with only brief interludes of drizzle. Climbing and climbing the precipitous road through Dinas Mawddy, sky and mountains closed in, reminding us that we humans are rather puny ineffectual things, and that the motorized carapace that transports and shelters us may just not be enough in a land like this. Even the sheep, inured to the place, stand hunched and motionless on the hillsides, backs to the downpour.
And then at last we’re here, on the banks of the Mawddach Estuary, just downstream of Penmaenpool, and the rain recedes, leaving stillness and shadow, the slow curves of the river, Welsh Black cattle grazing the salt marsh, a buzzard calling, canoeists returning to base, and on the far horizon the knowledge of the sea, though unseen, marked by a sudden flush of brightness out in the bay.
copyright 2016 Tish Farrell