Below in the valley the trees barely move, but here the wind tugs the purple heather and salt spray fills the air. My hair whips my face, stinging my eyes. This will be the longest walk I have ever done. Out in the bay, the island – humpbacked and barren – is clad with its own heather.
The line is taut.
I look down at my feet, arching them, watching the wrinkles form, ready to begin. I have practised all my life for this, although I cannot recall setting the game in motion. I just followed the kerb stones and then walked on the cracks in the pavement. After these the line was easy. Tugged in both directions, how easily I spun.
This rope is fastened to a ring. The ring is set fast in the rock and guarded by a weathered giant; she will hold my line. I set out, feeling nothing but the smooth silk of the rope beneath my feet – cool, like the salt-laden air. The island is a thousand steps away. I stretch out my arms, mimicking the gulls crying across my path, diving to the sea, then arcing upwards, sky bound.
Half way. I am still walking. The sea churns beneath me. I quiver like an arrow in flight. The rope vibrates, and its song blends with the voice of the wind. I spin, and my feet dance on the silk. Which way is the island now?