It’s no wonder everyone loves beaches. They leave a logical and universal imprint on the human soul. As with instruments in an orchestra, each element there lends its own magical quality, then combines with the others to form a magnificent force.
Water is what makes the beach. It comes from somewhere that could be anywhere, a mile away or from the other side of the world. When placid and friendly, it soothes and reassures. When unsettled or angry, its show of power demands respect. Only at a beach is water truly at full stride, inviting you to explore and admire not only what it has to offer, but also the countless plants and creatures for which it provides a home.
Then there’s the wind. It’s always there and like its water counterpart, it can either provide a moist and refreshing breath of welcome warmth or coolness or bend and break with remarkable fury. For sure, it has its way with water. It can make it lie low with gentle laps or create waves that refuse to be denied. Whether whispering by you or blowing against you, the sensation you feel is that it’s replacing the old with the new.
Sand is the third component, created by wind and water in distant mountains or along some shore. Loose and fugitive, it’s constantly being washed or blown as if it were forever on the search for a new resting place. In the process, it grinds away at anything and everything, including itself. Walk on it barefoot and it clings to your skin in an attempt to directly connect you with the workings of Mother Earth.
For all that it is, a beach merely sets the stage for something that’s always grand. Without fail, you feel compelled to look outward and across a flat vastness that defies dimension. In panorama fashion, water rises upward and the sky tilts downward to form the thin line of the horizon. Space is wide open and infinite.
The sun rolls across the sky as it has done since time began. Clouds show bright and happy or gray and sober, reflecting on the water in patterns none of which are ever the same.
Adding to the sounds of wind and sea are the squawks and chirps of birds as they look for food or maybe for nothing at all. They peck at the sand, wade in the water, flap themselves upward to wheel and glide through the sky.
Then, there’s you. Whether you do or don’t like, appreciate, or care about it, all of those elements join together and force you to acknowledge their presence. They round off the sharp corners of what irritates, neutralize your fears, widen your vision, and bolster your courage.
They make you realize how small you are in the grand scheme of things. At the same time, however, they remind you of how big you are.
Perhaps for the first time ever, you are recognizing yourself as an instrument for protecting what must endure and changing what must be made better.
It makes no difference who or what you are or believe yourself to be, or whether you resist anything poetic or beyond your control. The beach will move and soothe you.
You must not hurry, prejudge, listen to any other sounds, look at anything other than nature’s works. That’s all you need, so that is all you should allow.
Your only frustration will likely be that you wish everyone would go where the water meets the sand. There, they too could rid themselves of their ashes, leaving only hot coals to ignite the rest of their lives.