In these days of seemingly endless winter, my collection of sea glass reminds me that summer will arrive again.
It is a memory of bare feet in the sand, salt water rushing over my ankles, hot sun on my back.
For a moment, I can feel summer.
I have thousands of photos on my computer. And I keep adding to them.
So, occasionally, I forget about one I’ve taken. While deleting some old ones that have no sentimental or aesthetic value, I came across this one.
And in this middle of another long Canadian winter, it brings summer back to me for a moment.
Sometimes, one outing provides for many memorable moments…
A fall day so warm the afternoon was spent at the beach.
One of the fish my children tearfully rescued from the sand bars.
A pretty patterned crab in the shallow water.
My children at play.
Being able to walk barefoot on the sandbars in October – this is a gift.
In an effort to support our area and provide healthy, organic food to our children, we have begun buying our meat and fish from local vendors.
We follow our beautiful shoreline to a fish market, and drive along rural roads to a farm.
We feel better about shopping and eating this way.
And the scenery is just a bonus: The tides and tempers of the bay and the fields and flowers of the land.
I wait for the sea.
I wait through the long winters and the rainy days. As soon as it is warm enough, I pack my beach blanket and a book (and toys for the kids) and head to the sea.
It is a soothing, calming place and I cannot get enough of it.
I want to believe I am a gardener.
But my flower-patterned rubber boots and puncture-proof gloves were no match for the invasion of thorns and dandelions and other unnamed monstrous offenders. The weeds have taken over.
The few vegetables that found room to grow were tiny and bug-eaten. Only the potatoes have been victorious. This gardening is not for me.
I called my mother. She said I cannot be a gardener and a beach-goer.
I choose the beach.
The tide was out when we arrived at the beach.
Sand bars like smooth islands shone in the sunlight, speckled by seagulls and seashells. The water was a mirror for the shoreline.
It was morning and the beach was almost empty, so few footprints interrupted the patterns made by the tide. Ripples, salt lines, pebbles, and snail trails embellished the sand.
The sea makes its own art.
I closed my eyes for a minute at the beach yesterday.
The wind from earlier in the day had died; my kids were in the trailer; it was just me and the Bay of Chaleur.
So I sat down in my fold-up chair, stretched out my legs into the sun, and closed my eyes. The only sounds were the gentle swishing of the water as it lapped the shore and the occasional laughing gull. I breathed in the sweet salt air and let the warmth of the sun feed my soul. Too soon, summer will be over (somebody, please slow it down!), and these things will be but a memory and a wish.
I believe I was made for summer.