A walk in the bark.

A walk on a beach on a Sunday morning. Light is low and bright, the wind blows behind - giving extra propulsion as we play tig with the tide. This is a happy, happy space - and I know this because this morning the beach is full of dog walkers, and the dogs are ecstatic. Tails wag incessantly, on every dog. And why not - there is space to run, to dig, to chase a ball, there are scents to make them dance; there is the company of other dogs stirring the memory of the great pack in which they used to roam, and there is the presence of their owners to insulate against the insecurity of loneliness as they rush off to chase, explore and to inhale.

The sense of joy that bounds along the sand is irresistible, and I find a stupid grin creeping across my face; I look over and it is there on my wife too. We laugh. It is a simple laugh that comes from sharing a moment with someone you love, that exalts in the joy of the moment: the dogs running in circles around owners bemused, amused and vaguely aware that normally they have to be seen to have control - but that is redundant here; the waves breaking and creeping to shore; the salt on the air, the wind at our backs and the ships on the horizon.

We make our way out onto the rocks, amid seaweed and rock pools, to find ourselves looking out by where the rocks meets the sea - at worlds that form, run their course and return to the great wash within hours.  Worlds that are invested in the shortness of their existence and seek to explore them completely while they can. The sea weeds have intertwined on the rock amongst the lichen and limpets and create a vegetation that is peculiarly amphibian in style, but not less beautiful and complex for all that. I draw quickly, while she walks in circles to keep warm. Then gingerly we pick our way back to sand, losing our way, but enjoying enjoying the sense of falling deeper into the day.

Then lifted by the clouds of unconditional joy that bark, yap and woof around us, we finish with weak tea, bacon rolls and the cotton wool of laughter.