There are countless things in this world that I’m useless at but there is one that I really am particularly rubbish at.
I really don’t relax very often. I struggle to do “chill.”
I’ve been on holiday from work for the past week and genuinely haven’t managed to feel chilled out at all. No matter what I tried, all the usual tricks, nothing seemed to work for longer than a few minutes. I was beginning to think I was going to return the salt mine almost as frazzled as I’d left it.
That was until yesterday afternoon….
The sun was shining. I decided that the housework could wait for another day and I set off for a walk. Normally a walk means countless photos of the same stretch of the world but not today. Yes, I had my camera with me and I did take a few photos but my heart wasn’t in it. The love for it wasn’t there.
I just needed “beach therapy”.
It’s no secret that I love the beach.
Ok, there is one particular beach that is my absolute favourite and holds endless precious memories but as it’s several thousand miles away my local stretch of shingle and sand had to suffice.
As I walked along the path towards it, I could see that the tide was out and that the warm spring sunshine had attracted dog owners and parents with small children by the dozen. It didn’t bode well for some peace and quiet….
Would I be able to find the sheltered spot in the sun that my needy soul was craving?
I wandered down the short dusty path onto the sand and headed slowly west along the beach.
Almost the second that there was sand beneath my feet (yes, I still had my Converse on- it’s Scotland in April and I’m not insane enough to go barefoot….well, not quite!) I felt myself sigh. Felt an air of calm wash through me.
Slowly I meandered along the beach, looking for a suitable sheltered spot. I spied two rocks at the back of the beach that looked to be in a sheltered nook. It was windy and the breeze was clearly reminding everyone that it was still only April. Brrr!!!!
A bit like Goldilocks, I sat on the larger rock first. Too lumpy! I tried the smaller, flatter rock. Perfect.
Within a few moments, I was sitting there contentedly lost in the tale on my Kindle with my music playing in my ears thanks to my omnipresent iPod. (Yes, it was Myles Kennedy before you ask)
For a little over an hour I sat there reading, listening, occasionally pausing to people and dog watch. Gradually the batteries of my soul began to recharge. Idyllic.
Mentally I ran through the gallery of beaches that I have visited over the years. The Cornish sand dunes I rolled down as a little girl, the endless sands in Harris that I collected shells on with my mum and my Wee Gran, the beach in Brittany that I spent an afternoon on as a teenager and saw my first nudists (an educational afternoon for my 14 year old self!), the beaches in Portugal with the fishermen mending their nets, the glorious sands of Mauritius and the man who sold carved fresh pineapples every day. My memories then settled on my favourite beach on the Delaware coast. As I basked in the Scottish sunshine, I relived the memories of time spent there. I could almost hear the ocean waves crashing in.
A chill breeze blew up and brought me back to reality with a shiver. A bank of cloud was rolling in signalling that it was time to call it a day.
Carefully I wrapped the precious memories up in tissue paper and stowed them back in their boxes in my mind. I put my Kindle back in my bag, stuffed my phone into my jeans pocket and got to my feet. Ok, got stiffly to my feet…ha ha.
Feeling my soul somewhat lighter I walked back across the sand towards the dusty path then with one last lingering look at the dogs splashing in the water I headed slowly for home with sand in my heart and my shoes.
Finally, I felt chilled.