The soundtrack for this particular blog post is, of course, “Distant Shores”, originally by Chad & Jeremy. The Company did a great cover of it here.
If I seemed to have disappeared over the weekend, well, I had a very good and very compelling reason: I went to the beach.
And I can’t find the words to tell you how I had missed the whole experience so much. Yes, true, I happily and constantly characterize myself as a city rat born and bred. I’ve lived and loved cities all my life.
But I also live in the Philippines, a country of islands, and way too many of those islands are host to beautiful beaches. Sand beneath one’s feet and the constant thrum of the waves rolling up to the shore, and the wide wide wide sky stretching overhead, and the sough of the wind that brings the cries of the seabirds and the laughter of people.
That’s the romantic summer view of a beach.
A view that I hadn’t seen in so many years.
(Of course I’m aware that I live in the Philippines, a country of islands, which is preeminently vulnerable to storms and similar weather disturbances — in which case the beach is not really a place of safety. I know this well. I digress.)
The thing about me is, as much as I love beaches I don’t really have a lot of chances to go. Blame that partly on my inability to drive: and the corollary is, I don’t have a car. I would have gone driving off every chance I got. Part of the blame is also my reluctance to get on public transportation, but that’s me being a natural scaredy-cat and someone who doesn’t like to mix in with crowds of faceless strangers. I’d have spent a lot of my money on bus fare, if that were the case.
I think I spent a lot of weekends being tired and burned out. (Previous job, and also ex-husband.)
So when this opportunity came along thanks to my current place of work, I jumped at it with both hands and feet. Bought the whole shebang of things that I had not owned for over five years: swimming gear, sunblock, sunglasses, the works. Since it was the company outing I was joining, I also happily chipped in for food (someone in my team was going to grill up some seaside eats).
It was pretty much worth it just for the chance to stand on a beach of fine white-gray sands. Just standing at the edge where the waves were washing the shore — it was such a relief and such a lovely thing to find on a fine cloudless high-summer day.
I guess the particular attractions of this stretch of coastline were the following: astoundingly clear waters. The beautiful powdery sand. The fact that it was possible to wade a long way from the shore and still have water coming up just to the hips or to the waist. The rippling carpet of sea grass underfoot, startlingly visible even a long way from the shore.
I must have looked like a fool to be standing on that beach, feet firmly planted in the water and in the sands, looking up into the clear skies and smiling at nothing.
I just wanted to soak it all in.
Which is what I did for most of the day: I lay down in a hollow on the sand and let the waves wash up to me, just to the point where I was okay with getting my ears drenched.
Just lying there, letting all the water roll up, letting the wind whisper its secrets into my ears.
I’m grateful and I hope to return — I mean, now I won’t wait for years to pass till I go back to some other sandy shore.
Blue seas and blue skies, and the wind and the waves.
Water up to my knees, refreshing in the heat of the morning, and really that clear. I didn’t do any editing to this other than cropping out my fingers obscuring the top edge of the photo. You can see the ripples of the sunlight and the fine texture of the sand just with this view.
I’ve got to go back and soon. I don’t mind going by myself. Just a beach, with the wind and the waves and the sky.