Day at the Beach

The beach is beautiful – the sand finer than table salt – and it appears to go on forever in either direction. It’s a cold day for the folks who actually live in this state (maybe 18 degrees Celsius; 64 degrees Fahrenheit); but none of the beachgoers – clearly all from a colder, northern climate, seem all that bothered.

In the shade, you still need a light jacket but at mid-afternoon in the sun, on the beach, most of us are wearing shorts and t-shirts and several are in their bathing suits. I dig my bare feet into the warm sand and smile contentedly as I think of our winter boots and our winter coats, now stashed in the trunk of the car. We left home three days ago and I can’t help but sit in wonder as I think of the vast difference with this weather and my home – now 2000 kilometers away – currently surrounded by snow, icicles and bitterly freezing temperatures.

A young family has settled in several metres away from me and the three children – aged around 5 to 8 years old – are busy making a sand castle. It is a serious business – the tide is coming in – and they all bustle about with great and solemn importance at the job they have to do. The littlest one particularly captures my eye: she scurries back and forth; little hands full of dripping handfuls of wet sand which she plops down – one after the other – on a growing pile her older brothers are carefully carving and sculpting. The three of them are a well-oiled machine and they are clearly taking this job with all the seriousness that only a child under age 10 can possibly muster.

Eyes half-closed against the glare of the sun, I am enjoying the happy, noisy banter of the children and their parents when my attention is drawn away by a huge flock of strident seagulls. Someone has been throwing bits of food for them but I can tell from the way they are now hunching their shoulders under the sudden onslaught of gulls that they underestimated the determination and the fierceness with which seagulls will vie for food; clearly an inadequate amount for the number of gulls that have suddenly materialised to claim their prize. I am used to seagulls: we do see them in my home province every summer – but I am unprepared for how much I had missed their raucous cries; how beautiful and foreign they now seem to me.

I have never been one to just sit in the sun so it doesn’t take me long to start exploring. I have spotted the lines of seashells along the shore and I can’t wait to get a closer look. I lose all track of time as I ramble here and there along the beach, nodding a quiet hello to fellow seashell seekers as I go. I gather up the shells that look the most different, pretty or intriguing to me and examine them as I walk. Some I will keep but some I decide to return to their rightful place, always putting them down with great gentleness, in a private ritual I adopted many years ago, to honour their beauty and to send them on their way.

I have meandered a good distance down the beach when I spot a lone sandpiper and take a wondrous breath: now these are a bird I rarely see and I stand for long moments, just watching it scurry to-and-fro. I am mesmerised. I only have my phone in my pocket so the picture I take is a poor quality but I am nonetheless pleased to have a souvenir of the moment.

I realise with some surprise that the afternoon is almost gone and the air has noticeably cooled. I turn back to go to the hotel where I can put on a sweater (still a far cry from my winter coat: I’ll take it : )

I will come back to this beach again and again while I am here. It is such a gift, this reprieve of summer in the middle of a long Canadian winter.

Patti Moore Wilson/©


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

35 thoughts on “Day at the Beach”

      1. Been there. If you want a really nice family secluded beach, try the Outer Banks. Avoid Hilton Head like the plague… But, I’m getting the impression that you’ve traveled the United States more than I have, Patti…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope 🤔 I am really and truly NOT a traveller. I don’t mind short trips, or day trips. When we finally arrived in Maine, even though we still had 5 or 6 hours to go, it felt like coming home (we live next door to Maine so it is the state we visit the most). And I don’t really ‘do’ the touristy things. I rather like backwoods little villages and obscure, out-of-the way little gems you would NEVER find near a big city. I had to look up Hilton Head (looks nice, if a little opulent: I’ll take your word on avoiding it). The Outer Banks does look lovely, but I know we’ll never make that drive again: that was just WAY too much driving 😬😬😬😬😬

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I do like Maine… I’m thinking of retiring there… there or Vermont. Your problem with traveling is that you get along with your spouse. My ex-wife and I, on long trips, used to pass the time by arguing and fighting like animals. Well, whatever works…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Patti…this was music for my soul this morning. Your description of the birds, the children, the sandcastle building. I felt myself relax while I read. Thank you so much for taking your readers along to the beach. 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay, now you got me dreaming of warmer weather and fun days exploring at the beach. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I like more: beach or mountain. I go back and forth, but love both dearly. Yes, I imagine the drive to Myrtle was a bit tiring. We’re in Pennsylvania and have talked often about vacationing there, but have never gone yet. I’ve heard lots about it from friends, lots to do. Anyway, thanks for the short reprieve. Can you tell we’re supposed to get snow today. Ha, ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad it was a little reprieve for you, Brian 🙂 And… I think that snow/storm system is headed our way (Atlantic Canada) as well… Here’s hoping it’s the Saint Patrick’s Day storm final hurrah of winter 🤞🤞🤞
      I think the drive would be a lot more ‘doable’ from Pennsylvania. I hope you get to go at some point.
      And honestly, as much as I enjoyed the beach, I think I would choose the mountains. I feed off the energy of trees and there are always lots of trees on a mountain top…🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I randomly came across this post and I have to say that although the description of a beach scene and walk is not at all unfamiliar to me (as I live at the beach myself), it was your use of descriptive words, flow and imagery that really captivated my attention throughout. Beautifully written. I am looking forward to reading more!
    Amanda in Australia

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Amanda, I am working backwards today. I didn’t see this comment until I was well ensconced – and happily following – your blog. Thank you so much for absolutely making my day with this lovely comment. I was having one of those weeks where you wonder what on earth you were thinking, writing a blog at all. Your words were a true salve to my soul this morning…🙏💕


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