The power of the ocean

When we first arrived, they just wanted to play in the sand...

When we first arrived, they just wanted to play in the sand…

The last time the girls visited a beach was during our Memorial Day weekend trip back in May. Even then they just ran around the sand and barely tipped their toes in the water. The last time they really played in ocean waves was several summers ago when we visited Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I doubt either of my girls remember that trip and that’s okay with me.

Yesterday we headed to Plum Island Beach for some fun in the sand and waves. Both girls were hesitant to go into the water at first and seemed content to play in the sand. A few minutes later, Jordan wanted to go into the water a little ways so I went with her as Jaycie remained playing in the sand. Eventually she walked up to join her sister but didn’t stay in the waves very long before retreating to higher ground.

Then Jordan was brave enough to go in and Jaycie followed.

Jordan was brave enough to go in and Jaycie followed.

Jordan eventually started digging in the sand by the waves and Jaycie found that interesting so she went over and watched then began to help.

Jordan making her sand mound/castle as the waves come in...

Jordan making her sand mound/castle as the waves come in…

Jordan's castle washed away!

Jordan’s castle washed away!

Jordan trying to dig a hole.

Jordan still trying to dig a hole.

 

Jaycie was still nervous about going into the waves but she loved playing in the little tide pools created by some of the bigger waves.

Jaycie love the little tide pools made by the larger waves.

Jaycie love the little tide pools made by the larger waves.

jaycie tidepool2

As more time passed, Jaycie got brave enough to come into the waves with me and once she was in, I couldn’t get her out. She went from covering her ears from the loud sound of the crashing waves to squealing with delight at the bigger waves and saying “That wasn’t very big,” when a wave would fizzle out before reaching us. She almost got knocked down a few times by the waves but she stood her ground and laughed and smiled the whole time.

Jaycie digging in the sand despite the water.

Jaycie digging in the sand despite the water.

Jordan was determined to keep digging.

Jordan was determined to keep digging.

Jaycie shoveling some water.

Jaycie shoveling some water.

Into the water Jordan goes...

Into the water Jordan goes…

Jaycie followed behind but kept closer to the beach.

Jaycie followed behind but kept closer to the beach.

We were at the beach for 2.5 hours which we didn’t realize until we got back to the car and saw the clock. My phone battery died about halfway in so I’m glad I got the pictures I did. During our time on the beach, I gained new respect for the power of the ocean because in a matter of only a few hours it turned my daughters into hesitant tide pool toe dippers into wave splashing, body surfing (Jordan anyway) wave lovers! I vowed that next year we’re going to stay right on the beach so we can just walk out our door to the water whenever we want and the girls can spend even more time in one of my favorite water elements, the ocean!

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Morning Walks

Right before my 5am alarm went off this morning, I was dreaming that I was walking on the beach. The sky was overcast but the water was warm and I was in it up to my knees. The feel of the churning waves rolling over my skin was divine and I could smell the salty air. I love the ocean and walking on the beach is something that brings me peace and contentment. It’s also something I don’t get to do enough but I’m working on fixing that. When I live closer to the ocean I will walk in the shallow waves as often as I can, morning, noon and night if possible. I’ll revel in the feel of the wet sand squishing beneath my toes and underfoot and collect whatever shells wash upon shore. That dream this morning is something I am determined to make a reality.

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 2009

 

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

The lovely rolling waves in the morning.

 

A seagull all tucked up on the beach

A seagull all tucked up on the beach.

Right now my reality is living in the country though so I’m making the best of that. Sunday morning Jazzmin and I headed out to the farmer’s access road for our walk. There was a light breeze but it was already becoming humid. As we neared the gate across the road, I heard church bells in the distance which must have been announcing the start of service. It was lovely how that sound carried across the hills and valleys of where I live and I felt at peace.

The morning view out over the fields.

The morning view across the field.

I’d been smart enough to wear my hiking boots this time and I’d placed the Dr. Scholl’s active series insoles inside them. Those insoles really do work by the way and I recommend them to anyone suffering from shin splints, foot pain or back aches during or after their walk. The walk down that road was uneventful with only the red-winged blackbirds and some chickadees serenading us. As we neared the end of the straight part of the road I saw a squirrel perched atop a large boulder. Jazz didn’t see it and it quickly ran away but she smelled it as soon as we reached that boulder and had to investigate.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

Large boulder minus squirrel.

 

Jazz looking across the boulder.

Jazz looking across the boulder.

 

Jazz searching for the squirrel

Jazz searching for the squirrel.

I stood on the part of the road that opens out onto four different fields and took several pictures of the wash out and brush clearing. For some reason that section reminded me of a desolate post-war wasteland despite the un-endings songs of the birds and the butterflies flying by.

Washed out earth.

Washed out earth.

 

Cleared out brush and trees.

Cleared out brush and trees.

I took a panoramic video of the area as Jazz sniffed around and then I decided to head back. Barely five minutes after we started walking back, the church bells sounded again marking the end of service.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

Morning view of the hills and valleys.

 

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

Some lovely purple flowers I saw on the way back.

I felt very calm and at ease as we walked back toward home. Starting my day like that out among nature and the songs of birds brought me serenity. That access road isn’t a true nature trail or even that secluded, but to me it felt like I was in another world. Perhaps it’s just my overactive imagination that causes that or maybe it’s my learned ability to appreciate all the nuances of life. Whatever the reason, I look forward to further morning walks in the country and anticipate deeper contentment when I stroll among the ocean waves.