Off the south-west coast of England lies a small piece of granite that bears the name, Lundy Island. It is situated in the Atlantic at the mouth of the Bristol Channel.
A few weeks ago I saw a man wearing an aqua colored T shirt today that had emblazoned on its back, ‘LUNDY ISLAND’ with ‘BRISTOL CHANNEL’ beneath it in smaller letters. I was immediately reminded about the time during World War Two when I spent eighteen months on a farm near Westward Ho! on the North Devon coast.
I was fortunate enough to miss the London Blitz during those months and I spent an idyllic time on that farm. At the tender age of ten I was thirsting for knowledge and I was able to explore many parts of the ...view middle of the document...
From the shore of North Devon the island is seen as a small outcrop in the ocean. Steep, gray, granite cliffs enhance its loneliness. There is no sign of life visible at that distance, yet its very remoteness has a beckoning quality that makes me want to travel there to discover what there is to be found.
There were four children on the farm I was living on. Two of us were evacuated from London, and the farmer had two young offspring. On hot, sunny days we occasionally trekked to a field overlooking the sea. This field sloped up to a crest and then angled steeply down to the shore.
Sweating and panting on our way up, we waded through chest high grass and prickly gorse, until we reached the top, where a beautiful vista of the rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean lay before us. The cold sea breeze rapidly cooled our bodies, causing us to regret not carrying our jackets.
As we gazed out to the limitless horizon, it was difficult, to realize that the Battle of the Atlantic was being fought not very far away. Ships were being sunk somewhere over that horizon and countless men were adrift in lifeboats or floating on wreckage. Only Lundy Island rose from the water, mysterious and inviting.
Four shivering youngsters played on that hillside until the evening shadows lengthened, and we thankfully returned over the hill, felt the warmth again, rising from the sun baked land. Exhausted and exhilarated, we would head home for our evening meal.
What kind of people inhabit Lundy? I never did find out the answer to that question. I have often stared at its changing colors in the cold, clear weather on this...