As I opened the car door, I took in a big breath of fresh sea air. The sky was dull and cloudy, and there was a slight chill due to the brisk breeze which whipped my hair into my face.
Despite the less than perfect beach weather, I felt my shoulders loosen and my soul calm. I removed my shoes and scrunched my toes into the surprisingly warm sand. I could hear the waves crashing around me and taste the salt on my lips. My senses had been taken over by Mother Nature and nothing else mattered in this moment.
As the cold waves engulfed my feet, I shivered happily and wondered what it was about the beach that soothed me so. I looked around to see my boys running free, shrieking with glee; my husband throwing a ball for the dog and my Granny scouring the sand for shells and pretty pebbles.
The boys tipped out their beach bags and began digging trenches, building sandcastles and letting their imaginations run wild. Pretty soon, us adults were joining in and I realised that the beach is a chance for us to literally reset. It is an opportunity for us to connect with nature in whatever way we choose; walking, running, water sports, sand art, sunbathing.
The beach doesn't take anything from us. There are no distractions, no chores, no boundaries. Just an endless, beautiful landscape that literally cleanses the soul and recharges our batteries. Everyone is on common ground, regardless of age or circumstance. We have all left the real world and associated responsibilities behind, for however long we can be there.
Suddenly, the heavens opened and we scrambled to gather our things whilst being pelted with warm, heavy rain drops. We dissolved into fits of giggles, laughing at the sudden turn of events. Despite being rained off the beach that particular day, we had all felt the benefits of our short visit, and didn't hesitate to return daily during our week's holiday, no matter what the weather was doing.
The following day, the sun was dancing in a clear blue sky & it was hot. The boys spent ages building a sand boat for the incoming tide (with a little help from Daddy). They watched with delight as the sea eventually filled the deep trench they had dug; but it soon turned to dismay as the power of the water dissolved their creation. Rather than feeling sad, I encouraged the boys to view the sand as a blank canvas; ready for a fresh start tomorrow. The sea is Mother Nature’s reminder that every day is a new beginning. No matter what reality we create within a day, it can be washed away ready for tomorrow and a new narrative.
I think I have visited the beach in all weathers and have paddled in most! The weather doesn't seem to affect the boost that visiting a beach provides (for me anyway!) - in fact I think it is refreshing to see the landscape in different circumstances and reassuring to know that it literally weathers all storms. For me, it reaffirms the fact that change is constant. Whether it's good or bad, sometimes you have to just ride the waves of life until the tide turns - which it inevitably does.