Beaches, Berries and Bales

In my family, I am the odd one out when it comes to water. I am the only one who hasn’t been a lifeguard at some point, the only one who didn’t do Irish Water Safety Training and the only one who is mostly happy to stay on the sand. My brother’s have canoes, my sister surfs, my niece and nephew surf, swim, stand up paddle board and dive off piers. Mental. There are sharks out there. Have y’all not seen Jaws?

Don’t get me wrong, the beach is lovely, if it weren’t for all that sand everywhere.

As a kid, I remember the big Tupperware biscuit box (there were six kids, it was a massive biscuit box!) being emptied and filled with tin foil wrapped egg sandwiches, hula hoops and rich tea along with numerous flasks. I remember nobody being allowed near this food filled treasure box for fear the sand work it’s way in and ruin the picnic. Yet, no matter what we did, those egg sandwiches and that sand…well, let’s just say that we all know what sandy egg mayonnaise sandwiches taste like! There was also that time a weever fish stung my foot and that other time a jellyfish floated onto my body board. Ouch. The water is not safe people, it is not safe!

But then, I see T at the beach and it was like she was made for it. Not so much the water part, but we’re getting a little more brave each time. She is sandcastle obsessed. To the point that when we are at home she fills her buckets with gravel from the path and builds sandcastles.

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For me, it’s about the countryside. It’s about the fields, woodland and trees. I want to see the pops of colour in the hedges. I want to see the raindrops perilously hanging from sloe berries. I want to watch the fox scurrying across the field, stopping every now and then to look back and take note of where you are. I want to see the bales of straw stacked to the sky. I want the mud puddles. I want to find the egg shell treasures that have fallen from trees presented to me by T. I want to see the moss covered walls, hiding bugs beneath their spongy layers. I want to watch the blackberries ripen, only to be stolen by birds.

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That is what I wake up for every morning.

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