I believe that the best way to have fun at a beach is to be active.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved the beach. There are countless pictures of me racing around covered in sand at the Oregon coast, windswept hair flying everywhere, laughing to burst my cheeks. I don’t remember a time where I was at the beach and not doing anything. Except sometimes my mom would make me stop running around to put some sunscreen on.
I had a favorite game that I liked to play when I was young, and even now it still brings me joy and fatigue. Once I was cleared by Mom to go play “only up to my shins in the water,” I ran free towards the beckoning waves. At first I would charge right into the water, feeling the sting of the freezing sea, and look around for a nearby wave to jump. I would sneak up on a wave and startle it from its idle flow by leaping over it, laughing with glee at being able to jump so high. Our Border Collie would join me as I frolicked about, soaking my shorts and leaving salt drying on my skin. I would eventually get tired of jumping, at which time I looked up at the incoming waves. It became a game of tag as the water raced after me as I ran up towards the dune to safety. There was a song that I sang to the rhythm of my pounding feet: chick-a-chick-a-boom-boom, chick-a-chick-a-boom-boom. It was the words to one of my favorite books my Mom read to me at night. I would continue this game for hours, stopping only when I wanted to make a sandcastle. The beach was the best playmate for me—it was always ready for more.
All those “romantic getaway” ads have pictures of some beach bum lazing around under a scorching sun to the sound of lukewarm water sloshing against red hot sand. People are being so misled! The real picture of the beach would be the “extreme coast- goers.” The surf would be pounding against the resisting sand, reaching towards you to take you out into Poseidon’s lair. The wind would sweep around the lone kite as the handler struggles to keep hold. Fog may linger off in the distance, waiting to pounce on the beach when it least expects it to shroud everything in white. Amidst this scene, we have youngsters racing down the dunes, dogs chasing seagulls into the sky, laughter soaring up into the wind. In a seemingly dark picture we have joy. People are actively finding happiness and loving their surroundings. That’s not to say that the beach was ugly or depressing in the first place. It was captivating and alive. It is the way a beach is meant to be, a happy host, overjoyed with the company.
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