We visited the beach recently.
Once again, I found myself thinking that we really need to do this more. I just love the beach. It's the sound, I think. The sound of the waves. When we lived in Townsville, we'd drive up the coast to get to a beach that had waves. Beaches without waves are just not beaches in my mind. The beach is all about the sound of the waves. Big waves, little waves. I don't really care. I don't go to the beach to swim anyway, so it's not like it matters how rough it is. I go for the sound, and the smell, and the vast open spaces. I don't think I'd enjoy European or Californian beaches much. A beach should not be jam packed with people! There should be just me. Maybe a few folks wandering with their dogs, a surfer or two, someone sunbathing, a couple of kids playing. But that's all.
And shells. A good beach always has shells.
I learnt shell collecting from my mum. My husband knows all about my shell-collecting ways. He knows that as long as I don't look down, we can have a normal walk at a normal pace. But if I look down. Well. I just can't help myself, I have to look for shells to collect. Whether I need or want any, it doesn't matter. It's just something I have to do. In recent years I have sometimes taken to collecting them as I walk, and then leaving them on the beach when we go home. Someone else can collect them. I don't need them, I just like looking at them, holding them, feeling their texture and weight, and noticing the intricate details and delicate colours. I like shells. Which reminds me: really should go for a walk on the beach with Mum sometime soonish! No-one rushing me then. Grin.
So on this recent visit (after we walked around Mauo - Mt Maunganui), while my son dabbled in the rock pools and my husband climbed rocks, I happily shell collected. I borrowed Munchkin's bucket. I dug through drifts and flitted among piles, discarding this one or that, and keeping only the best. They had to be perfect.
Then we brought them home where they have sat in the garage.
One morning, when Munchkin and I were at a loose end, out came the shells, along with a piece of string.
Because my 'perfect' shells were all ones with holes in them. Nice, big holes for little fingers. I figured we could make a necklace or something. Of course, my son decided it was a crane!
He really enjoyed threading a few through, and I noticed just how hard it is for young hands to manage a piece of string and a holey shell. But he quickly turned his string into a crane, and enjoyed raising and lowering it repeatedly from his chair. Oh well, never mind. I guess threading might happen another time? After all, I do still have a nice collection of perfect threading shells!