Impressions of Cardiff Bay
Eleanor Broaders January 2007
Carry your peace within your soul.
Standing under the side of the St David's Hotel looking out over the Bay, I am struck by the noise. There is no escaping it. All the signs are that this should be a peaceful place. The warm January sun is shining on my upturned face. The water is gently lapping against the shoreline under my feet. Birds call from the unseen depths of the reed banks. Any sense of peace is quickly shattered by the whines and grumbles of the air conditioning vents discharging from the hotel behind me. To the right, traffic noise from the A4232 road to Penarth. To the left, cranes and other assorted machinery from the dock area add their voices to the cacophony. I am reminded that this is a working port and I wonder why I came here.
Seagulls perch on buoys strung like a necklace across the Bay. A cormorant takes flight skimming inches above the water. A near perfect blue sky smiles at its reflection in the sparkling waters below. The faint smell of salt drifts on the gentlest of breezes. There is beauty here too and I'm glad I came. I know why the wild birds are not bothered by the noise. They carry their peace with them. That's the lesson I will take from this place. Carry your peace within your soul and you will always be in sight and sound of stillness.
As I finished writing, two perfect white swans glided up in front of me and lingered by the shore for a few minutes. I suddenly see what the architect's vision was in the design of the developments round the Bay. Gleaming white and glass towers rise like swans from the quayside. Yes, there is beauty in this place.
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