Being grateful, mindful and kind, while enjoying a day at the seaside:
Today was the ultimate Artist’s Date: I went to the seaside.
Since moving back in with my folks in the middle of England while I recover from CFS, the nearest coastline is sadly about 80 miles away.
And I desperately miss living by the sea, which I find so powerfully healing.
So on a good-health day not so long back, I booked myself onto a day trip to the seaside with a local coach firm.
However, due to my recent cold and CFS blip, I wasn’t really sure if I was up to going. But as the seaside towns are winding down for the winter, today was the last seaside trip the coach company was making until the spring, so I was really keen to go.
As I woke up this morning, my body craved more rest and begged me to stay in bed, but my heart skipped with joy at the thought of a day at the seaside.
Reluctant to cancel, I felt confident the healing power of being by the sea would lift my spirits and soothe my soul, and would offset the inevitable consequences of complete bed rest for the next few days.
So off I went.
As the full, chattering coach weaved its way through the countryside, I put down my book to gaze out the window. And my, how I was rewarded: blanketed in mist, my heart sang with joy at the splashes of glorious golds, flaming ambers and dazzling rubies of the stunning autumn scenery.
Arriving at the seaside just before noon, I headed straight for the beach so I could say hello to the sea. Then it was time for a spot of lunch, and of course there’s only one option when you’re at the seaside: fish, chips and mushy peas of course! My ‘regular’ sized portion beat me; convinced it was big enough for two, I was curious to see how big the ‘jumbo’ portion would be!
I wandered down the pier and spent a lovely half hour gazing out to the sea, soaking up her powerful healing energy.
Then it was time to whip my socks and shoes off and hit the beach. Walking barefoot in the sand is one of my all time favourite things to do, and it felt blissful getting sand and sea in-between my tootsies once again.
This award-winning beach is incredibly wide and it took a while to reach the shore. I went for a quick paddle which was deliciously refreshing, with the sea temperature around 15 celsius/59 fahrenheit. I didn’t stay in long due to the sea foam: with a chocolate mousse texture I got a little paranoid it was pollution I shouldn’t really be standing in. Urgh! (I’ve since discovered through a little research that it’s algal blooms and organic matter churned up by the surf, which isn’t usually harmful to humans, but I was taking no risks!)
I continued to walk along the beach and it was blissful having this long stretch of beach almost to myself, only passing by the occasional dog walker.
I decided to get creative and have some fun creating some artwork in the sand using my tootsies:
I was feeling quite tired and as I came upon some rocks, I decided to buy a herbal tea and come back and watch the waves for a little bit longer. Oh boy, finding a herbal tea in the many beachside huts was almost impossible. Ten stalls and 30 mins later, I rejoiced at finding a place offering lemon and ginger tea, and went back to sit on the rocks.
I tuned into my senses and fully appreciated the delights surrounding me: the sound of the crashing waves and squawking of the gulls; the sight of the muted watercolour tones, as the sand merged with the sea, and the sea with the sky; the smell and taste of the salty sea air; and the kiss of the gentle breeze on my skin. Pure bliss.
I was delighted to see two kite surfers glide into view. I was utterly mesmerised. I used to love watching the surfers when I lived in Australia, I find it so soothing and meditative. I was also transfixed by the icy blue eyes in the sky, gazing out of the clouds.
Then it was time to make my way back to the coach station for my return journey home. As we arrived back, I gave the coach driver one of my kindness cards with the message: “Thank you for being a good, considerate driver” to show him how much he is appreciated.
After my long but blissful day at the seaside, my spirits are lifted, my soul is soothed, and my body and energy levels are kaput!
So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful, mindful and kind, while enjoying a day at the seaside.