The Art Of Doing Nothing

I never tire of the view it looks like paradise. Each morning I sit atop a hill soaking up the white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, rock formations and rolling hills and commune with God.

I feel oneness with Mother Earth, a sense of belonging and familiarity as if I’ve finally arrived home. I haven’t consulted a map extensively and I have yet to get lost.

My feet seem to know exactly where I’m going as I walk the narrow and cobblestoned streets I admire the quaint shops that sell pastries, jewelry, souvenirs and other memorabilia.

The harbour is lined with restaurants, mostly seafood. St. Ives was once a thriving fishing and mining town—the tugboats, dinghy boats and sailboats are reminiscent of that era.

I take in the scent of sea salt, fish and the sound of seagull’s high-pitched crying noise as if conversing with me. They’re everywhere! At times I need to lower my head as they glide, their wings outstretched allowing the wind to carry them.

On mornings the crowds are not en masse, it’s early, at least for the tourists who seem to come out in the afternoon.

I relish in having prime spots to observe the scene. Owners casually walk their dog on a leash, couples both young and old sit on benches along the harbour—conversing and gazing out at the water as if there is no place they’d rather be.

Servers from the local café’s carry trays with teapots, cups and plates with English breakfast—eggs, bacon, sausages, baked beans and toast.

No one seems to be in a rush, they meander along the streets and periodically stop to take in the breathtaking scenery. I almost bump into them because I walk quickly, almost with a sense of purpose.

I hike up hills to the Coastguard lookout and to St. Nicholas Chapel and spend hours taking in the panoramic views of St. Ives. With the gust of wind blowing through my hair, the temperature on average has been 14C and that’s not factoring in the 22 km/hr to 35 km/hr winds.

It’s not uncommon to see artists walking with their sketchpad, paints, and pencils in hand. When the tide is low artists are perched up on a rock sketching at Porthgwidden beach—a small sandy cove. 

Over at Porthmeor beach renowned for it’s surfing and spectacular sunsets, artists stand in the distance with their easel and paint the landscape.

Since the mid-1900’s St. Ives has earned the reputation as an artist centre with the arrival of modern artist Barbara Hepworth. When I visited her former home and studio, which was renovated as a museum, I could feel her presence.

By the end of the guided tour I felt deeply connected to the artist and when I sat in the beautiful garden surrounded by her sculptures amongst a cherry blossom tree, calla lily flowers, rose bush and bamboo trees to name a few of the greenery, I experienced a sense of peace.

Art galleries are scattered about and I gleefully hop from one to another taking in the various creations made by hand—crystals, glass, metal and pottery as well as paintings and sculptures. Their artworks are unique and exude something magical.

I’ve adjusted to crossing the street on the “wrong” side of the road and learn to use pounds instead of dollars with the help of cars that stop abruptly and patient cashiers.

I also sampled the national dish, Cornish pasty traditionally filled with beef, potato, swede or rutabaga, but I have the vegan option. Personally I did not enjoy it and my guess is that the meat pasty probably tastes better.

Each night I have a difficult time falling asleep, not because I feel guilty about wandering around aimlessly, but because I feel most alive and I’m excited about where else my inner guidance will lead me.

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