The beach is my happy place. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before – It’s just that combination of blue/green water and white sand completely makes my day! And most of my happiest and even the most exhilarating memories have happened at the beach on in the sea. One thing I love about the beach is that no matter how crowded the beach is, it has the ability of making you feel like you’re in a cocoon – just you and the waves and the salt in the air. You can be alone with your thoughts there. But the real fun is sharing those waves and salty breeze with someone else.
I’m a regular beach goer, especially during the summer. But one of my most memorable days was during my school board exams. It was mid-March I guess – I just had to get through those pesky exams before I could embrace the long, warm and happy summer holidays. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself! I was still pretty much stuck dealing with exams. I didn’t enjoy studying one bit, I couldn’t remember much and for the most part, I was sure I was going to fail my exams with the way my preparations were going. And then suddenly, in the midst of it all, the family planned a picnic. Now normally, family picnics include extended family – uncles, aunts and cousins! But this was just my parents, grandparents and brother – more of a ‘let’s take our lunch to the beach’ style. We got the food cooked, packed up plates, cutlery drinks and bed sheets, then picked up the grandparents and drove to the beach. The minute the salty breeze hit us, we were changed people. Suddenly, the dad and mum who had to scream at me to study were transformed into a carefree couple with nothing else on their minds but thoughts of wriggling their toes in the sand. The brother who was always stuck to computer games was now chasing birds and digging into the sand with relish, and the grandparents were walking, talking storytelling machines. We found a shady spot, and like good natives we checked the coconut tree to avoid being targets for bird poop and dried coconuts. The bed sheet was spread, the food laid out, drinks opened and the music turned on. Like the waves, conversation ebbed and flowed. The food never tasted better – the company and the view making for perfect flavor enhancers. I was truly at peace, the turbulent battles of history and their terrorizing dates safely tucked between the pages of the textbook lying at home. I looked around at my family, the people I saw day in and day out. The constants of my life, these humans who were a part of my ordinary life, and yet had the power to make afternoons like these extraordinary. As we dipped our feet in the warm waves, I felt my worries slip away into the sea. We then packed up our stuff and got ready to head back home to where my books were waiting for me. But that was ok, because this one afternoon in my happy place with the people I loved refreshed and recharged me. Maybe recharged all of us. It gave me the strength to go back to those exams and all the stress that came along with it.
The reluctant writer.