Days and days of imagination, playing all summer long.
The beach. Ah yes, the beach.
We used to spend hours and hours at the beach. We'd climb rocks, conquering the highest heights, peering down into swirling blue and green and white as the waves crashed below. We'd crush limpets on the rocks, and feed their mangled bodies to rock pool inhabitants, see-through salt-water shrimps skitting and scatting along to sample our tasty offerings, cockabullies swimming swiftly in and out of weed.
We'd see what we could spot within the floating arms of seaweed, heads down, snorkels up. We spent time body surfing, learning how to surf the waves with nothing but self to keep afloat. Pounded by the salt, scraped by the sand, delighting in the ebb and flow of wave after wave.
|I am often amazed at my son's love of the beach, but I shouldn't be. He is, after all, my son!|
We'd walk for miles and miles, a trailing procession of family, wandering along the beach. Driftwood collected for the fire, shells for the collection, crabs poked and prodded, ambushes held in the sand dunes.
Sandy sandwiches for lunch. It didn't seem to make any difference how hard you tried, you'd always get sand in your lunch.
Walks along the beach are the best walks in the whole world. The sound of crashing waves. The light smell of salt. The breeze whipping your hair and tugging at your sleeves. Cold feet scrunching damp sand between sandy toes. A handful of shells to take home and treasure. Seaweed festooned upon an impromptu sand castle, built before the tide comes surging in.
Ah, the beach. How I love the beach. I always have and I always will. But how often I forget. How easy it is to spend my days rushing here and there, hither and yon, and forget it's gentle call. How easy to forget to stop and breathe a breath of damp salt air, to run and run, or sit and stare.
I'm trying to remember that it's just there. A few minutes drive. Beckoning, waiting, watching for me to return, to embrace a moment of solitude or companionship, a moment of soul-filling beach.