Yesterday I went with my friend Mel and her daughter Sally* to the beach. It's winter here, so we brought jumpers (sweaters) and Mel insisted her daughter keep her shoes on and stay out of the water. But 3 1/2-year-old Sally had no problems ordering me to fetch some water for her to build a sandcastle.
I burst out laughing. “Oh, you don't want to get wet, but you have no problem with Auntie Kitty getting wet, huh?” I hugged her and took her bucket to the water's edge. I think the tide was coming in because the next wave came at least a metre closer to me than the last one. I jumped back and laughed and shouted back to Mel, “This may take me awhile if I keep jumping away from the water!”
Eventually, I got half a child's beach bucket full of water – without getting my shoes wet! – and marched back to where Sally waited. For the next half hour or so, we ate rice crackers and tried to build a sand castle.
Sometimes Sally would look up at the crashing waves and hide behind me. “They're going to get me!” she cried.
I laughed again and teased her that it was okay for Auntie Kitty to get wet then, huh?
The three of us had a very relaxing half an hour until the sun went down behind the trees and shade overtook the sand. The sudden cool was a reminder that it's still winter here. We packed up and went home, eager for spring to arrive.
I don't know what it is about the beach, the water, the waves that makes me (and lots of other people) feel so relaxed and peaceful. But I'm determined to take advantage of it so long as I can. I've decided that I should plan some of my work so that it can be done without a computer – at the beach! That's going to be my usual Friday routine now, I hope. Barring rain, of course.
I'll get to enjoy something I love and not get distracted by email. How perfect is that?!
*Sally is not Mel's daughter's name, but I think children's identities should be protected on the Internet, so I won't name my friends' children here.