The coach crept over an old, very narrow road along the rough coast of Cornwall - thick fog seemed to swallow the landscape all around – but to see St. Ives, the next point we wanted to visit that day, sunken in thick mist – oh, nobody might have wished that, especially since our guide had evoked such desire whilst describing enthusiastically the famous magic light of this town, which attracted and still attracts many artists and painters.
When we arrived at St. Ives, it was still raining and we felt a bit depressed as we stepped out of our bus looking down on the granite-grey town and its harbour – but our first surprise was the honey-yellow beach - the tide had receeded and the colourful boats, blue, red, orange –whatever you may wish, were waiting for high tide- a stone mole embraced the harbour. Never before had I seen such an intense yellow colour, almost looking like a painting by Van Gogh – never before had I expected to see such a hue in England reminding me of scenes in the Mediterranean, Provence or Greece, and now I believed I understood that expression of enthusiasm the guide had used: „Celtic coast with Aegean light“, but the light was missing although it had stopped raining and the sky was going to clear.
After lunch (Cornish pasty, of course) I bought a cone of Cornish Ice Cream. While I was staring at the sea - quite suddenly only a small stripe of the beach vis-a-vis flashed up, became broader and longer, stretching out along both sides, lit- up by white and open light-holes between the clouds, blue patches were lurking through the clouds which were changing permanently until finally the whole sky was captured by the brightness of the sun’s light that had managed to break through the clouds - and the honey-coloured sands of the beach were shining and glistening brighter and brighter – that must have been the magic light! - I was sure, and other persons seemed to feel like me. The people and even the gulls became quite silent while touched by this light. This light might have carried us off a bit from reality!
And I forgot reality, indeed – but some seconds later I came back and saw the sea- gulls circling in the air and crying, as usually. And I had to notice: While I had been attracted by the magic light in St. Ives - holding my cone of Ice Cream in my left hand, a sea-gull had stolen my half scoop, the rest of the ice ran down into the cone as a second seal-gull, almost touching my face, stole the second half of the scoop. A bit of Hitchcock- shocking, I thought for a moment - but the magic beauty of this light at St. Ives was quite intense, quite more impressive than all things around.
Some days ago I was asked if I would once have wished to say with Goethe’s Faust "Stop, Moment! You are so beautiful!” – “Yes”, I would agree, there are moments in our life we want to stop and we can never forget imprinted in our mind for ever, this was one of them - and I tried to capture this light with my eyes, my soul, and my little camera, but I have to admit to not being able to photograph it, you must go and see and feel it by yourself!
Special guest post today by Philine Kleinknecht from Germany. Thank you for joining us here today, Philine, and for your wonderfully inspiring story and image.