The formless reponse

A foggy sunrise at the beach

What is it that you long for?

What is it that calls to you in the quietest moments?

What is it that you are missing?

Getting up just after sunrise and walking down to the beach through the morning fog, I made sure to take care as I made my way down the damp, steep cliff stairs.

I reached the beachside and navigated the concrete breakers, patterned with wet seaweed in dark green and red. The tide was far out, the sand compacted and peppered with paw prints and the marks from hiking boots.

I decided to get as close to the water as I could, first on the sand itself and then climbing onto a craggy rock, trying to avoid the surprised whelks who’d been left to hurry into rock pools as the ocean washed itself away.

Standing there, I witnessed the sea and sky, both grey, dense, unrelenting. Mist was filling the air and the sun just a weak and watery blot a little above the horizon.

A confusing question emerged in my mind. “Where are you?” I wondered. Then more layers of curiosity unpeeled: Who was I speaking to? Myself? The sun? What did I believe was hidden? And why was it important I found it?

I watched the sun, blearily shining above the ocean, with no answer.

And then …

A soft cloud fell away and the sun in its warm and blazing vibrancy made itself known.

In one moment, everything changed.

The dull metallics of the sea and sand were enlivened, the rocks’ edges clarified, the sky and clouds given rich and delicate detail.

I shed a tear, because my question had been answered. The formless response had taken form, if only for the briefest and most beautiful of moments.

You may not know what you are longing for.
You may not be able to name what calls to you in the quietest moments.
You may not ever be able to explain what you are missing.

But you will know the answer when you see it.

By Eleanor Snare

Eleanor Snare is a creativity consultant, art school educator, writer and speaker. Their mission is to help liberate the hidden artist within individuals and organisations so they can create more meaningful, imaginative and profitable work.

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