There is nothing I enjoy more than being at the beach. Stating this fact, I know, does not make me unique in any way. Lots of people love the beach. In fact, social media pages this time of year are covered with images of kids playing in the sand, the surf crashing on the shore, and the sun majestically setting over a beautiful ocean.
Yesterday I sat comfortably in my beach chair. Close to the water’s edge, I suddenly became very aware of the gritty sand between my toes, the salt air blowing though my hair, and the rhythm of waves crashing on the beach. It was mesmerizing; an almost magical trance of serene being that I haven’t been able to duplicate anywhere but at the beach. My guess is that while most don’t stop long enough to reflect on the “beach experience” in this way, it is a similar state of relaxation that beckons people back to the beach year after year. Together, as we shed more of our clothes than some probably should, we also shed the everyday stresses of work and obligations.
Well-known ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau wrote that “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” I, for one, and spellbound. The ocean sings a song to me more beautiful than any melody and in that song is a promise of renewal; a sense that I am just one small grain of sand in a universe I know very little about. I imagine my legs, somehow magically transformed into the fins of a mermaid, and I dream about diving down beneath the dark blue surface to swim freely with whales and sing their song. But perhaps I am too poetic. With my land legs bound to the shore, I sit watching the tide and it somehow allows me to believe that in the ebb and flow of the universe, everything happens in the time it is intended. We cannot rush it. We cannot force it. We can only be open to the possibilities – like the shore sits open and waits for the sea.
There is value in being at the beach.