When the sea has been far away and returned

On days when the beach lies there like an open book, level and white, the waves roll in with a suction motion all their own. Not so much insistent as fretful, as if the sea has been somewhere far away and now returned.

The south coast of Skåne is losing ground to the sea, and if you wade out into the swell at Sandhammaren you need have no doubt as to who rules.

Sand and water have this in common, that they erase all traces and that you cannot place your feet on the same spot twice. Every explorer is the original pioneer here. The sensation is new each time. On the morning after a sunny seaside Sunday – with children’s games and beach blankets and bouncing balls – the sand lies once again as ridged as if human beings had not yet been created. The patterns are ageless and original, the fleeting impression left by water on reluctant material.

The grass, pale green and prickly, seems tougher than a ship’s sail and can withstand the wind’s whipping day after day. At times Sandhammaren is ineffably blue and white. At other times the colour scheme is in tones of grey and then even the beach appears surly. Regardless of the weather and whatever mood nature finds itself in that day you feel glad than no one has yet built a marina here or a theme park with boardwalk and plastic-mugged tea-stalls along this frail borderline.

This is Skåne’s most south-easterly point and all is in movement, in shimmering dots and drops. This is not just a single point but a billion points, tiny echoes of the energy that eternity brings with it when it reveals itself between sea and shore.