“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv
even though we live just a short distance to the shoreline, it's a short trip that we rarely make. pat doesn't really like the ocean. i like the ocean and the beaches, but for some reason i always feel somewhat frazzled going to the saltwater beaches during the summer. especially having kids now, it just seems like so much more work and stress for me compared to going to the small lake beaches we frequent a bit more. perhaps it's the vastness of the water and beaches at the shore combined with the summer crowds that plays tricks with my head.
but then i recall my childhood and the fun and excitement of going to the shore. my mom is a definitely an ocean beach lover, so we headed to the shore quite often. remembering this joy is the reason i force myself to visit at least a few times each summer with the boys.
the other day the boys, my mom and i took a little day trip to a local shoreline beach. it is off season now, and the day was grey and chilly, with short spurts of drizzle. we practically had the entire park to ourselves. the boys cruised on their bikes through the closed campground, stopping to examine mushrooms, collect wildflowers for me and various shoreline treasures for themselves. we visited the geese and collected some cattails from the marshes. then we headed over to the beach and played in the sand, collected sea shells and crab shells, followed rabbit tracks, and ran along the boardwalk.
it was such a peaceful and magical day- it made me realize that i definitely need to visit the shoreline more often. while i probably won't be frequenting it more in the summer, i most certainly will be visiting more often in the off season.