From a dictionary’s point of view, the beach is defined as “an expanse of sand or pebbles along a shore (Random House 57).” Understandably, the dictionary is a reference that primarily aims to define the meaning of words as objectively as possible. This short essay is written to prove that a beach is more than just nature’s gift that comes with sand, shells and pebbles.
Millions of people across the world frequent the beach especially in summertime. People of all ages, shapes and sizes, hit the beach for many reasons. Perhaps it’s to get a tan, spend time with friends, or engage in surface water sports like surfing, wakeboarding or sailing. To countries, its white sand beaches are income-generating tourist destinations. To some animals, a beach is their natural habitat. And surely to some people, like me, a beach can be significant for a lot of reasons. For me, the beach is my special place.
The beach has been many things to me, a few of which were already mentioned above. But the very reason why I have called the beach a special place is because it has been my companion when I need time to be alone. Ironic, it may seem, to seek companionship when one wants to be alone. But the beach can be the reliable companion you can always run to that you’re sure won’t turn you away. It is where I engage in silent conversation with the familiar sound of the waves.
While breathing in its salty fragrance, nothing brings me closest to its nature than when my feet are submerged beneath the sand, knee-deep in white foamy bubbles that are naturally born as waves die on the shoreline. The wind blowing from unknown ends of the earth that shuffles my hair envelopes me with a coolness that seeks no immediate warmth. As I stand there alone in my thoughts, there grows in me a gratifying sense of freedom and peace that no other place can give to me. Not a coffee shop, a mall, nor any other refuge I could easily run to.
The most visible photograph of the beach I have on my mind is the glowing face of the setting sun staring back at me as I squint into the horizon. It is a sight reminiscent of couples riding away into the sunset, of lovers’ silhouettes warm in each other’s embrace. As the day fades away into dusk, the beach turns into a hue of midnight blue that can only be magnified in glory under a shining full moon. Staring up to a blanket of stars, I visibly recall silly wishes made when I was small, of cows jumping over the moon, and of shooting stars that disappear into the night sky.
With the wondrous things the beach has to offer, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many couples choose to get married on the beach with the promise of the never ending waves of love. More than the sanctuary it provides to sea animals, more than the treasures it hides for the children to explore, and more than the leisure it offers to people who come to unwind, the beach inspires me. For the very reason that it is where nature meets with man, leaving him with a personal experience that takes him far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. In its simplicity, the beach is that very special place that has constantly reminded me of the complex beauty of nature.
Retiring someday in a house by the beach is something not far from what I consider doing. Possibly with a dog to play fetch every morning and stocked up with bottles of sun block as I intend to laze around the rest of the day. Whether with hundreds of other people around or just by myself on the beach, that’s where you can surely find me.
I’m sure I couldn’t have portrayed it better than the Baywatch producers, but there is definitely one thing we agree on…life really is a beach.
“Beach.” Def.1. Random House Webster’s Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1996.