©2018 by CELIA WATSON SEUPEL, WRITER

Lounging in the Country of Smiles

August 25, 2018

There was a couple strolling past that, for me, expressed the essence of the beach. They’d been for married for a long time. You could tell in the careless way they strolled apart and yet together. He with graying hair and loose shirt fluttering over a once-firm belly. She with a sari over her bathing suit, flip-flops, and a large cloth bag. As they strolled past, ankles flush with saltwater, their fingers caught and their hands held. They were both smiling.

 

The beach is a country of smiles: the kiss of the foam on the shore; the sink of the heel into sand; the curve of the wave as it breaks. The girls squeal as they commit their bare legs to chilly swells and the boys holler as they plunge in.  A little girl commands a fleet of shells on the near side of a miniature lagoon, left by the ebbing tide, and a little boy imperiously demands that his father help with the construction of a moat. The father complies.

 

Best of all is the sound, the majestic music that muffles all others: The rise, crash and rumble of the waves, and then their long sighs

 back – steady, unceasing, the earth’s metronome.

 

I am put in mind of how rare it is to see a grumpy face, a frown or an argument at the beach. In my low chair, I dig my feet into the cool sand beneath the hot and wiggle my toes around. The ladies to our right are chatting; the man and woman to the left are baking; the children are shouting where the sea flounces her restless edges; the sky is awash with blue. What could be better?

 

Of course, all kinds of studies will tell you that the beach is healthful; people near the beach are generally happier. It’s the ions! It’s the lifestyle. It’s the expectations. For me, it’s visceral memory: I grew up a few blocks from the beach, and for my family, despite all our problems, we were always happy by the sea.

 

I think it may be just the glorious having-nothing-to-do. It’s the amazing plan-free afternoon. The marvelous shape of deconstructed hours. The future dozes and the past is forgotten. The primal mother embraces our dry skin and flailing limbs; her glittering swells forgive every bodily shape. Even her detritus is treasure: shells washed to pearl and onyx; stones smoothed down to their essence.

 

At the beach, I bring my books and never begin to read. At the beach, paper and pen hit the sand. Under the hot and brilliant sky, I lean back and listen. Here, bemused intention stretches, yawns, and curls up like a cat. And we the lucky ones head for the edge of the infinite, grabbing its salty cusp one toe at a time.

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-beach-does-your-brain-ncna787231

https://www.azula.com/ocean-health-benefits-2476307532.html

http://theconversation.com/health-check-why-swimming-in-the-sea-is-good-for-you-68583

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts

September 24, 2018

Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square