The Edge of the Sea

The Edge of the Sea beckoned with increasing urgency. 

We can technically reach the sea shores within a couple of hours drive, but the routines of life mean that we rarely do so. I looked at the pleading look in the daughter’s eyes as she pumped for a day at the beach, and consented. And so, it was with considerable energy that the children and I packed our picnics for the day. The entertainment bag with books, snacks and sandwiches were ready, soul filled up to the brim with good hearted spirits, and we set off to the cold shores of the Pacific Ocean on the Californian coastline. 

I must admit it is a beautiful thing to do. It is especially sweet when one has taken the day off. One can imagine the rest of the world working in drab offices, spouting theories, pouting about the myriad tasks that occupy one’s day, while we gaze contentedly at the ocean, listening to the sound of the waves lapping the shore. Wildflowers bloomed creating a kaleidoscope of color a short distance away. Birds and butterflies flitted around them gaily.



Out on the beach, there were a couple of families who were also enjoying a small Spring break, and there was harmony between land and ocean dwellers alike.

Kites were being flown by some, and the little dragon and butterfly shaped kites took off with an ease that is hard to get in landlocked parks. The sea gulls were making pests of themselves over an upturned packet of someone’s carefully packed picnic. Every time someone came to shoo them, off, they lifted themselves with a grace that the man-made kites could never quite get.


A little farther away from us were a couple of small birds, who I have since learned are called sandpipers. And what a fitting, poetic name for the little marvels?! They darted in and out with the waves looking for whatever it is they eat from the foam that washes up. They inspired us to play the same game of keeping as close to the lapping waves as possible but not getting wet. We did, but we were nowhere as elegant and nimble as those little busy sandpipers.

Days later as I bustled about the day, a quick darting image of these little birds would flash before my mind’s eye, and I would indulge in a small smile. A smile that reminded me of the bigger gift of life that surrounds us, a life and planet so marvelous that our daily tensions can in an instant be gone just by stopping to think of them.

The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place – Rachel Carson

Regular readers know that the teenaged daughter should have been born a mermaid. Since she is a human being, she makes up for the shortcoming by thriving on all things ocean related. Her reading is generously sprinkled with mermaids; her drawings of coral reefs, fish and dolphins reached a point where her teacher said she had to choose a land based theme to draw so she learns the techniques for drawing different scapes; her favorite myths involved the Greek God of the Oceans, Poseidon. And it all started early. She watched Finding Nemo & The Little Mermaid 666 times.


Every time, I crave for the forest, she craves for the beach. “A quiet day at the beach is a wonderful thing. Most importantly, you don’t have to do anything. No hikes, no walks, no did-you-see lists Amma!” she said, and as I watched her loll on the beach with a book in her hands, I must admit that the appeal is infectious.

The edge of the sea is fascinating. Watching the shoreline move in accordance with the tides and waves is engaging. The sandpipers and seagulls can entertain you all day. Who needs phones by the beach? (Coming up next)


Books: The Edge of the Sea – By Rachel Carson

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