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There is something about a beach …

What is it about a quiet beach!

Strolling along the sand, listening to the birds and the waves, finding a nice piece of driftwood to sit on and being able to just breathe.

Even if the weather is awful, there is still a sense of calm that the shifting sand and ever present waves create. I guess it’s that force of nature thing where no matter what, the tide will always turn and the sun will always set.

I love sitting by the sea. The rhythm of the incoming tide, the sound of the birds in the dunes and that slight hum of humanity in the distance, is zen like. Even barking dogs do not bother me as I sit on my driftwood island, eyes closed behind sunglasses so no one can see my emotions, contemplating life. The sea birds always bring me back as they screech and call above my head, mixed in with the cold water yell of children as the waves hit their bare legs.

We all do what we need to do to survive! Whether that is circling above sandbanks looking for fish, leaping high in the air to jump over freezing cold waves or sitting on a piece of driftwood allowing every breath to try to fill your soul with much needed calm and perspective.

The sun will always rise and the sun will always set, as sure as life will always bring rain and storm to calm beaches that not even a driftwood island can shelter you from. But I guess it’s the learning how to protect yourself, figuring out what you need to do survive the crap that washes up in your life then either facing it and walk straight into the wind, or hide behind sunglasses pretending your eyes are watering because you have sand in them.

This blog came about because of a conversation I had on Ayr beach with a complete stranger. I had sat on the piece of driftwood that she normally rested on to catch her breath after a morning run. I stood up to let her sit and was about to walk away when she called after me because I had left my wee bag of shells on the sand. “I hope they bring you good thoughts when you look at them”, she said referring to the shells. I answered that things like this act as a touchstone when I am struggling, bringing back memories of a calm beach. “I hope these ones work as well”, she replied. We ended up chatting for a good ten minutes about life until her very wet dog decided it was time to run on.

Time and time again these wee moments just bring a spark of joy when you most need it. Sitting or walking on a beach does this for me, and whether on my own or with friends, those sounds, that whole sensory experience stays as the inevitable return to life happens.


Note: all images belong to me, do not use without my permission

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