An informative beach day

As we turn the corner, that familiar scent smacks my senses – sea air. Going to visit gran was always a treat for that very reason. The cold wind of the cape crashes into our little cherry-red car drowning out the dreary song on the radio. It was only an hour’s drive away, yet, to my simple youthful mind, it felt like a road trip to some far away magical place. The place where the ‘seagulls fly backwards’, as they say, on account of the wind. After parking our car and making our way down to the beach, we find a semi-sheltered spot in between a few rocks. The wind doesn’t hinder my excitement – the enthusiasm that only a child shows for a beach outing, despite the weather. 

To a young, easily-satisfied child, the coast is a wonderful thing to behold – who knows what treasures are hidden deep in that massive blue mass or meters below the sand where I currently sit digging with my bucket and spade. Imagination runs wild.

As an observant and introverted child, I like to sit and watch others. I watch as a caring mother fusses over her child, a few years younger than I – sunblock, hat, water etc., while the child waves her away impatiently – I wonder if he knows she’s fussing because she loves him…

A little further along, a young blonde-haired girl sits glumly staring up at her father as he tries again and again to hand her an ice-cream cone that he’s bought, talking softly and calmly, but clearly perturbed. But no, she mumbles that she didn’t want that flavor and it’s not right, while she starts her next tantrum. I watch further as the father anxiously tries to calm his 3 year old, upsetting the child more. I wonder if she knows he is fussing because he loves her…

Directly next to me is a young teenager – earphones in – drowning out the world, clearly not excited to be there. His mother tries to say something to him about buying him something to drink, which he doesn’t hear. When she finally gets his attention, he mumbles that she knows he has earphones in and he can’t hear so why is she trying to talk to him; he is busy. The look of hurt on the mother’s face is evident a mile away and my heart aches for her. I wonder if he knows she is hurt because she loves him…

I notice all this in my untainted mind and I make a promise to myself…my thoughts are interrupted by my mother as she quickly smears my face with sunscreen and sits down beside me to help me build my sandcastle. That is love. She didn’t say those 3 words but her actions shout louder than those words ever could. I smile to myself and begin digging. I know she loves me, by her actions alone. 

So I implore you to notice the get-home-safes and the sleep-wells, they’re synonyms for those 3 words we all want to hear.


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