Scan of Nerja coffee circle

We’re in Morrisons. Mags is behind the till. She calls us both ‘Cariad’. Nice. I like it. Cosy as toast. We talk about the weather. Mags says its going to rain soon. I hope it won’t thunder, she says. I’m scared of thunderstorms, she says. Why, we ask. She tells us how as a child she was out on the farm with her mother. I must have been about six, she says. There was a storm, she says. With lightning, she says. One cow dead, the other one fell down, she says. I was terrified, she says. My mother, she says, was white inside a month.

Gloomy. Gloomy since our return. I miss the light. That clean white light of sun on white-washed walls. Our skin is still olive-coloured. It lingers. He still shines with it. A good time. The best ever, I think. Peace. Rest. Morning talks and bedroom talks. Coffee in the Portofino. Dos café con leche, una descafeinado, uno normal y agua con gas, por favour, I say. By the end she smiled. The view of the beach and the Papagayo café. In the evening watching the promenading. Irish wedding guests hugging their plastic pint glasses of lager, Spanish children hovering around the sweet stall fingering the pink plastic tat, waiters back and forth, with their trays held at shoulder-height, stopping to lean against the door frame for a cigarette. I miss the light. Gloomy. Gloomy with what now. What now?

Early this morning I saw dancing lights at the end of the harbour. Car lights? Not sure. I walk nearer. They are at the end of the jetty. Three men in high visible jackets shining torches onto the water, the waves. Circling beams catching the moving white and dark. Is someone lost? The coastguard’s office is lit up. I can see a circle of people on chairs. A pony-tailed young woman at a lectern. No sense of panic or alarm. Three of the RNLI boys are eating chips. Night-time strangeness. Like a dream. Like dreams, moving from dark into light.

Feast on your life, says Derek Walcott.

Myself it speaks and spells, What I do is me: for that I came, writes Gerald Manley Hopkins.

What I do is me.

What I do is me.

For that I came. Yes.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.