We start just before sunrise.
The tides are not with us.
We are efficient, even when we prepare in the darkness, even before we start hiking in the pale, rising light.
To pass the cliffs, the timing must be absolutely perfect.
To do otherwise is to join the bones resting in the crevices of the cliff face, smashed by the force of the waves.
When I write, the cliffs rise before me.
Those pieces of story, so delicate and so dangerous, on whose timing rests the success of the whole.
I think of that preparation, quiet and dark.
None of that was visible to the four-wheelers that passed us as if we were standing still.
By the time the cliffs are reached, it is already too late to prepare.
When we reach those jagged edges, those moments of fatal timing, the effortlessness of our passage must carry the shadow of that darkness.
We must carry those earlier hours, and move surely onwards.
There is never a guarantee in life or its telling that we will not make a fatal misstep.
But standing beyond the choke point, watching the world unfold, there is a magic nothing else can deliver.
There is no glamour in the darkness.
The ease of our magic is always rooted in a hundred invisible hours before the rising of the sun.