The views are magnificent, although the paths themselves are rugged and challenging, with frequent flights of granite steps climbing upwards or down, depending on the terrain.
Hard work for a runner but exhilarating in a way that long-distance road running can rarely be.
Nowadays, somewhat older, I walk, rather than run, these paths but the sense of exhilaration remains.
Coming down the steep hillside towards the bay, through the woodland above Fermain, with salty air rising to meet me and the magnificent view of the sea unfolding, is enough to make the heart sing.
The trees stand random, not in rows;
the path ahead weaves side to side;
bright sunlight falls on branch and bough
as, overhead, white jet-planes glide,
their tracks like furrows from a plough
on a blue field where nothing grows
not even clumps of cloud today,
nothing to mask the brightness, fair,
but swallows sailing like thrown stones
across an endlessness of air.
At the cliff’s foot, sea sways and moans
on this rough coast by Fermain Bay.
Down over mulched roots, swift, I go;
boots drive me over waking ground,
past tall trees, spring leaves richly rife,
drawn by seductive ocean sound
down to the salty source of life.
Deep, endless deep then gently slow,
the tide’s raw pull envelops me:
bright shoals collide behind my eyes;
trees sweep like waves to left and right;
the heart, set free, begins to rise.
Transfigured, winged, in green sunlight,
I soar, ecstatic, to the sea.