There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, around the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone ... I for this, and this for me.
The novelist Daphne Du Maurier wrote these lines about her beloved county of birth in her last book Vanishing Cornwall; she dedicated her last ounces of talent to the rough coastline and sailor's towns which inspired her hauntingly beautiful novels such as Rebecca, Frenchman's Creek and Jamaica Inn.
It is not hard to be inspired by Cornwall. Everything from the salty seaweed smell in the air to the fifty shades of blue of its waters. You can almost feel your mind quieting down and soaking up every possible detail: faded pastel façades, often decorated with good-luck charms, frondose extensions bordering the riverside with willowing trees spreading its branches towards the still water, the soothing sound of metal against metal emerging from the Falmouth docks at midnight.
I can understand now the freedom Du Maurier found in this strange land. You are surrounded by the omnipresent sea, its immensity and its reign in every step you take. Its temporary stillness slowly seeps through your pores, making you lighter. You feel the need to be alone, to disregard any distraction and fully commit to just following the patterns in the sand to the white foam and soft waves to then lose your sight in the infinite tonalities of the water.