Call of the Ocean

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

My comfort zone

I have a thing for beaches. If I could live near a beach, I’d be set for life. I’d spend every morning, evening or waking chance to stroll the sand, beach comb, wade the water, sit and just stare out into the great big blue. Maybe I’d be ambitious enough to build a sandcastle. With each beach action comes a very specific feeling/emotion or experience. My number one beach activity is beach combing.

Where I & the beach become one

Beach combing is kind of a meditative experience unto itself. There is a lulling motion in the act of zoning out while purposefully but mindlessly contemplating the sand for hidden troves of sea glass, shell or strange rocks. It sounds counter-intuitive – like looking for something by letting your mind drift. But that’s how beach combing works. You come away finding treasure both in body, mind and spirit. I come away feeling rested and productive.  

Where the Romance Began

I grew up in the Eastern maritime province of Nova Scotia. My grandfather owned a beach point that jutted out into a harbor and on good days we could see Prince Edward Island. Most weekends during the summer were spent at that beach. Whether it was family or friends, we’d caravan out to the farthest point of the beach, plop down our goods and make camp for the day until the sun sank into the water.

The campsite was a touch magical. It reminded me of a cat snuggling into a rumpled blanket the way it was nestled in slightly rising dunes. A little whimsy was added by the plethora of heather everywhere. Along with the campsite was also the lure of the beach with swimming, building or combing. Once those activities were exhausted, we’d snuggle into blankets around the campfire pulling out marshmallows or apples to roast.

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

The Let Down

You can now understand my excitement about visiting Nova Scotia this summer. I was heading back to the motherland of beaches. Fiddling with Google Map every chance I could get, I would plug in different route options to catch as many sandy shores as possible. Throughout the year I had subscribed to several Nova Scotia Instagram accounts, clicking and saving places we’d visit. My spirit was kind of stuck over there while my body was waiting to catch up.

When plans changed, as life tends to pull at times, and I had to bring back my spirit to reality.

The turn around

But strangely enough, we ended up in New Jersey for several weeks for my husband’s work assignment. The opportunity came out of the blue and just as we landed, it occurred to me there were beaches! I will admit that New Jersey beaches are epic – the sand is a wonderful white, the beach combing is unbelievable and there was an incredible amount of washed up horseshoe crabs. I came home with quite a haul.

Most of all, I got to experience the beach this summer and my spirit is most happy.

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey (2018)

 

Andrea Becker