Rock pooling at Traeth Llyfn
Scrambling over craggy rocks as waves crash free and fierce around me the morning after a storm was one of the joys of being a fearless child.
These days I’m slightly less fearless, but all the more exhilarated as I concentrate on trying to find footholds, while not getting soaking wet.
The majestic slate and shale cliffs of Traeth Llyfn beach, in Pembrokeshire, rise up behind me and as the clouds begin to part and waves gradually retreat, I pull myself onto a large, flat rock, protruding into the freezing waters of the Irish Sea. I peer down into a gully between the rock where I lie flat on my stomach, and the next craggy outcrop.
Staring into this mini gorge, battered by the extremities, I gaze into another world.
Transported back in time
Suddenly, I see myself as a kid again. My brother and I grabbing our bucket and net. The perimeter of the ice-cold, clear pool of water is wrapped in seaweed. But as we moved it aside, a hidden world is revealed.
Limpets, small fish and the piece de resistance for any kid – a crab – kept us engrossed for hours.
The sun finally came up, warming the golden sand, and transforming the grey swells into shimmering blue-green ripples. We studied each of these peculiar creatures in turn, always careful to put them back into the sandy pool they came from, though not until we had proudly shown our parents our rich treasures.
If I’m lucky, maybe one day I’ll be able to bring my own kids to this special place, where cliffs tower above the crashing waves, and squeezed between ancient rocks a new world is waiting to be discovered.