We are lucky.
We are blessed.
In countless ways.
|'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!'|
Not least because Cornwall is our home.
The place everyone dreams of retiring to, the county everyone squeezes in their hot cars to drive to en masse on Bank Holidays. Home to pasties, clotted cream and fabulous Camel Brut champagne!
If we leave our house we can be on one of about 15 beaches within 20 minutes, but when Natalia was born, the very first thought that entered my head was that we would never again go on holiday and we would never be able to go to the beach again. *small pause to re-read that phrase, scratch my head and wonder what on earth I was thinking*
I honestly can't tell you why I thought Natty would be denied the chance to bury her toes in the sand, chase her puppy along the shoreline, create shell artwork with her sister, eat ice-cream covered in sand. I can't fathom it, but I did. Perhaps it was that I thought people would stare. Perhaps I thought she would be too fragile or ill, but whatever it was, she has, of course, proved me wrong. With bells on!
This Father's Day weekend has seen the best weather of the year in the South West. With this being Britain, you can never be sure when it will turn again to fog/rain/force ten gales so we grabbed the bull by the horns, packed our coastal survival kit and headed to nearest bay.
After the initial lugging of provisions, chosing the perfect pitch and a swift tussle with the pop up UV tent we settled into that blissful pleasure that is simply whiling away the hours on a beach. Just being.
Bob and I sat and chatted, no distractions, no chores. The children amused themselves inches from our feet. Suddenly the difference in age between the siblings melted away, their squabbles forgotten. The task of creating the ideal sand city the only goal. Natty pointed out tiny shells, Pippin sniffed the sea air, Mia laughed freely. And it occured to me that we have taken this most precious soul restoring place for granted. We've shunned the beach through the darkest and wettest of Winter days, but there lies a place that makes us see life for that exact moment. You can't hurry on through it, en route to 'somewhere more important', you can't ignore its elements, you can't help but enjoy the moment, it grabs your senses fully.
This is exactly how Natty sees life every day. She grabs it with both hands.
We'd all to well to write ourselves a postcard like the one she writes from her voyage.
You might also like to read Getting Outdoors and Enjoying the Beach in Winter
or Jamaica and Other Longhaul Memories here.