Pebble stack building – Church Ope Cove

At Church Ope Cove, I arrive just in time for sunrise. I squat on the pebble beach to build a pebble stack, reaching arm’s length for stones.

What I soon realise is that I cannot rush building a pebble tower. There always needs to be a solid safe foundation stone. I cannot grab just any stone because any stones laid on top, rely on the base and each other to stand strongly. I soon realise that I cannot rush the build otherwise it will be messy and unstable, ultimately falling down.  The building of a pebble stack at sunrise, which I briefly recognise as an analogy of me and my rebuilding of a life,  teaches me to find a solid foundation stone. As I build, I recognise myself as both the possible unstable stack and the foundation stone. I connect to the stack because I am not entirely stable at the moment and I have been building on instability, therfore, becoming wobbly and unstable.

I am the foundation of my future life and need to make this position strong and secure, with balance and steadiness.  

Hello Day, hello balance, hello understanding.

In the nineteen minutes between the visibility of the very top of the rising sun and its full emergence, I learn that the stack foundation stone is not stable and neither am I. We are both unsteady.  I start again, with new stones, finishing with a perfect egg shape, that can neither be built upon nor be entirely safe but is aesthetically pleasing.   I will continue to practice building pebble stacks every day I am here now, mindful of self and rebuilding. I have rushed the job because I am distracted by the sun rising and a swimming man. Rushing is also recognised as a problem of mine.

As a small fishing boat passes, I wave to the fisherman.  He does not wave back. 

I shout, ‘Wave to me, wave to me.’

And he slowly raises his right arm and waves briefly left then right, half-heartedly but steadily and surely. I laugh out loud reciprocating with both arms waving with gay abandon.  

At this precise moment, I feel free, clear headed, understanding some small but importante requirement of rebuilding a new start of self and home.  

wave to me, wave to me.

Get the foundation right and the rest will follow.

I watch as a man strips to shorts, gloves and sea shoes, wades bravely into the choppy sea without flinching and swims.  He is submerged in freezing water to his chin.  This is his foundation stone.

I need to stop my internal struggle. Stop the internal fight with myself and internal dialogues. I need to stop. It will help build a steady foundation stone.

Pebbles are pulled back into the sea.  The ebbing tide rolls a cacophony of singing stones. Once again, I reach for my knitting and knit to the rising sun, feeling the sun’s warmth and glow upon my face, the pebbles singing to the ebb, a man swimming  and a rare deep, honest contentment fills me from inside out.  Nature has taught me a clear lesson.

I understand something fundamental. We are our own rocks. 

We sing, we balance, we fall, we are unstable, we are attractive and attracting and we are also rubble.

Author: traceydoxeydesigns

Site specific Artist using own created textiles, laser cuts and hand block printed wallpaper to engage with narratives of landscapes, social history and place.

2 thoughts on “Pebble stack building – Church Ope Cove”

  1. Dear Tracey Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this post. As I read I can see myself and can take some much from your words. I have been unstable in the past but believing in myself has helped me to take baby steps. I wish you all the best and sending love and hugs Elaine xxx

    Like

  2. Beautiful, thank you for this. Getting to realize then trying to understand instability within is a great accomplishment. Finding by the Sea, a place where it always seems calm yet, in the rocks, it shows all the nuances and uneven surfaces of our daily lives.

    Thank you for sharing, it helps in many ways!

    Like

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