Actually, I'd like to share my newspaper article for this week here, along with the pics, since it captures my feelings on the subject. The beach inspires me.
We recently took a family vacation to Anna Maria Island, Florida. If you know anything about me, you will know that I am in love with the beach. Sure, it’s nice to lie out on the beach and get a little sun tan, eat fresh-caught seafood, and pick out the tackiest T-shirt you could potentially stand to wear in your real life. However, the part that draws me like a magnet to the edge of the surf is the power of the ocean and the beauty of nature so abundantly clear on the seashore.
How can one not stop and stare, mouth agape, at the infinite expanse of ocean, imagining lands that lie on the other side of the horizon and the abundant, undiscovered life living below the white caps? To me, the ocean carries an almost spiritual quietness. Watching the waves lapping in and out calms my mind and softens the edges of my world.
One of my most favorite activities at the beach is getting up early for a morning walk at sunrise. The world is passively quiet, but the ocean forges on, in and out. The birds squawk delightedly as they find their morning breakfast. The crabs are all settling back into their holes for another long sunny day. The footprints in the sand are few. Life feels fresh and untouched, with the new day rising powerfully before me.
Of course, I’ll spend that day lounging in a beach chair and eating too much, but those first few dawn hours are majestic, rivaled only by the evening hours that follow when the sun sets on the day. Again at this time I feel an inescapable pull to stand on the very edge of the earth, taking in the flaming orange, fuchsia, and lavender of a sun setting on this world. It truly makes you feel small, yet safe, cozy.
We are all just tiny specs on this huge planet, like the infinite grains of sand beneath my toes. So each year I am drawn to the sea, pulling me like a pilgrim to stand in the foamy waves, appreciating the boundless beauty of our world, feeling comfortably solitary and connected.