This has had a number of titles. It has been called Strange Engine but that didn’t seem right nor does the above really but it is the best I can think of.
It is a “portrait” of one of my sons throwing pebbles into the river at Newgale in Pembrokeshire.
Some of my earliest memories of the sea are based around holidays my parents took at Newgale staying in a place called Pinch Cottage.
We were coming back from a day at the beach and one of my sons had run on ahead. He has the nickname “Mini Me” due to a startling resemblance to me. It seems to follow the generations as the same was said of my late father and me. As we walked up to meet him I was struck by his pose and the intense concentration on what he was doing to the exclusion of everything else.
It occurred to me then that if you thought of my son as me then I would in effect be my father and if that was true my feelings maybe echoed his from decades ago. A humbling thought because it follows the three of us are just points in a time line. We each carry a baton from an ancestor disturbing the universe in our passage to a lesser or greater degrees like the ripples then we must pass the baton on to our descendants because like ripples we are transient.
The scene also reminded me of the quote attributed to Isaac Newton – I was like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
And the moment was then shattered by this old codger from his holiday home. Oy! Stop that! You’ll block up the river. And of course I started in at him until my wife ordered me into the car.
Isaac Newton wasn’t that nice a fellow. He systematically destroyed the career of another great mind of that era Robert Hooke.
My late father wasn’t that clever either I can remember him when we were toddlers at Newgale enraging an Adder with a stick while we stood around him. He was a Veterinary Surgeon for goodness sake “What an earth do you think you are doing Douglas you blithering idiot” was my mother’s remark at the time. I was often asked the same question by her! It seems just the name changes.
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