On Monday, I had the privilege of going to the Beach. My kids all had the day off from school (Pupil Free Day), so I made the most of the opportunity, took a day off from work and we went to have some fun in the ocean. We live in Queensland, Australia and we’re very lucky to be only about 30 mins from quite a few fantastic beaches. The weather is warm enough to be able take a dip in the ocean almost year round, but we never really seem to get the chance to go (probably cos my husband is not really a fan of the sand & grit). This time I was determined to make it happen, so we kit-ed up, packed our bags & towels, loaded the car and headed off.
As we were driving to our favourite beach, which is about an hour away from home,the sky started to cloud over and it started to spit down with light rain. You could hear a collective groan roll through the car as the kids realised that our beach plans might just be vetoed. After a few minutes of hesitation, I made the decision to just forge ahead and hope for the best, hopeful that it would clear by the time we arrived at the beach, even if we couldn’t go swimming. We would make the best out of the day and if we got wet from either the rain or the ocean, it would be fine cos we came prepared with towels and change of clothes.
By the time we arrived at ‘our’ beach, wouldn’t you know it, the rain had cleared, the clouds were gone – blue skies and sunshine prevailed! The kids were so excited! We parked the car, unloaded our stuff and walked down the street quickly, eager to feel the sand beneath our feet and immerse ourselves in the ocean. We hit the sand. It was so fine and soft that it squeaked under foot as we walked along. We picked a spot to dump our bags, stripped off our clothes down to our bathers and ran towards the water to swim between the flags.
That first bite of cold water kissing your warm skin makes you quickly suck your breath in and then you have to make a choice – either edge in slowly and ease your warm body into the cold water or take the plunge and dive under the water quickly, immersing yourself completely to force yourself to acclimatise quickly. I chose to do a bit of both, walking slowly in until the water was just past my knees. I stood there for a minute, waiting for a wave to come and then I plunged in, my whole body under water, the wave taking me into the depths of the ocean and then spitting me back up where I could stand just tall enough to keep my head above the water.
Then, just as I got my feet planted on the bottom, a wave came hurtling towards me. I barely had time to catch a lung full of air and it was crashing over me. The power, the force of the water sucking me under and throwing my body around like I was a rag doll, completely at the oceans mercy. And just as soon as it hit, it was gone and the waters bubbled and fizzed for a second and then it was calm again. I float gently to the surface, my feet hit a patch of sand where I could stand and my heads bursts above the water, gulping in mouthfuls of air. I was wondering who decided this whole ‘go to the beach and swim in the ocean’ thing was a good idea, as I slowly treaded the water and half-swum/half-walked my way back towards the beach where I could plant my feet solidly back on terra firma again.
As I sat on the sand overlooking the ocean, recovering from my little experience, I reflected on the amazing power and force that was within the waves. I felt kinda helpless for a second there in the midst of the wave as it crashed over my body. Who would have thought that water, simple salt water would have that much strength to knock a person off their feet and completely overpower them. I had nothing to hold on to, no where I could go. I was simply at the mercy of the wave,sucking me in and gushing around, then spitting me out. Then, when the calm came, I was able to float. It was like I could conquer the water and I could breath and I was back in control. Such an amazing thing.
The power of the waves in the ocean, the noise they make as they roll and hiss and crash then bubble and fizzle…the almighty force. I am so in awe of nature. How blessed are we to be able to see & experience such splendor?
After a few hours of alternating between jumping waves, splashing water at each other, building sand castles and sand tunnels, taking a short walk along the water’s edge to take some photos, and stretching out in the sun on our towels, the kids and I were completely exhausted and we were ready to pack up and head home.
Two of the four kids fell asleep on the way home and as I drove, feeling sticky with the remnants of the salt water and gritty with the sand stuck on my skin, my hair a wet mussed up mop of tangles on my head, I was deliriously happy. There’s just something about fresh air and sunshine, beautiful beaches, crashing waves, and getting some exercise that is good for the soul – let alone spending a few hours of uninterrupted play-time with my children. Absolutely blessed!
What makes you happy? I recommend you find some time & head down to your favourite beach this week – you will definitely feel all the better for it!