I have always lived close to the coast. Ok, sure, I’ve never had a sea-view – not unless short stays in hostels, B & Bs or holiday lets count – but I’ve never been more than a few miles from the sea. Sometimes this is enough; to simply know that the sea is there as and when I might need it. Other times, like last weekend, I need more, I need to be with the sea.
Being with the sea is a transformative experience, for me at least. Reaching the beach in the picture takes around an hour on foot. During that time thoughts and emotions may mill about as I walk my way through them. By the time I reach the beach I’m ready to see what is there, to take in the sights, sounds and smells; the walk to the beach prepares the ground for mindfulness, for engagement in the moment. The sound of the sea is like no other; the sometimes gentle pounding of the shore, but more often the all-encompassing roar of the sea in perpetual motion. The sea demands attention, but is also a constant reassuring presence.