Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to the beach

For reasons that make little logical sense, I find myself thinking about the time we've spent at one of our local beaches this summer. We live an almost equal distance from two Great Lakes - Erie and Huron - and they exert a tremendous influence on our lives: from weather to how we spend our weekends, they manage to work their way into at least one or two conversations daily.

The question, of course, is why. What is is about a messy strip of sand and rock beside a huge expanse of water that so fascinates us? Why do we find ourselves thinking about these places long after we've packed up the last sand toy and headed home?

Your turn: I need help answering these unanswerable questions of the universe. Why can't I seem to get the beach out of my head these days?

About this picture: I took this a few weeks back at the end of a particularly wonderful day at Grand Bend on Lake Huron. I thought the sand patterns on the bottom of the shallow water were pretty memorable. This is one of those images that immediately evokes images of my kids enjoying a carefree day in the water with me and my wife. I'd go back tomorrow if I could.


Kathy said...

Well, I can't really answer the question but I can tell this story. Every summer, my husband and I rent a cottage for a week or two at Wasaga Beach. Actually, the one we rent now is located in Woodland Beach - still Georgian Bay. We LOVE it. But one summer about 3 or 4 years ago, we decided to just go for a long weekend. We were carless at the time so packed all our stuff along with the 2 kids ages 10 and 3 on the bus. My 3 year old daughter threw up right down my shirt during the bus ride, we walked with all our luggage for about 3/4 of a mile because we got off the bus at the wrong stop. We finally got to the cottage, dropped all of our stuff and swore to each other...never again. Without unpacking, we all walked down to the beach and as we stood there, with our bare feet on the hot sand, that wind whipping our hair, staring out into the blue water we looked at each other and said "Oh yeah...that's why we come here".

Leanne said...

My thoughts would be the primal urges that we have to go back to where we came from. We all spend the first 9 months of our life floating in a calm and safe aqueous environment. Upon our birth we are thrust into a harsh world full of UV rays and pollution, not to mention wind, snow, sleet, and hail. Water is calming, soothing, peacful, it takes us back to a simpler time. The time when all we had to do was be. Remember when you were little and you fell of your bike and hurt yourself, the first person you called for was your mother, same theory in my mind. The difference being that when you have a bad week at work calling out for your mother is not the most mature thing to do, so we head to the beach, or the biggest aqueous environment that we have access to.

Christine said...

Oh Carmi, this picture is just beautiful! I'm so glad you shared it with us. There is something so calming about it.

I think the facination comes with the water. I'm not sure what it is, but there is something almost hypnotizing about water.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

This picture just says 'holiday' all over it to me. And looking at it reminds me of that holiday feeling, where I have no decisions to make beyond whether to lie on the sand for a few more minutes or go for a dip right now. I love being at the edge of water, whether lake, sea, river or stream. I find it very restful.

emiel emanuel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
emiel emanuel said...

Well, I'm certainly not a big proponent of the Freudian thing, but its true that the water asks very little of us. The simplicity, however, is not in the essence of the beach as a natural phenomenon. Quite the contrary.

Considering tourism alone complicates everything for us. Nor is it a return. It may have a certain nostalgic value, but its not as though I can appreciate the beach as a 4 year old. I don't wear water wings is what I mean.

You cannot appreciate a sunny day, if you've no concept of rain. I suppose the same goes for what the beach respresents. The effigy of the beach is the vacation. One is able to appreciate ones children more with the balance, memory, etc. that the beach provides. Carmi. You might be interested in my blog posting this week:

I went to my place on the ocean, and was asking simliar questions.

Tammy said...

Well, I love the's just so relaxing. I love the sound of waves at night, as's one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.

Gorgeous picture!

kenju said...

Carmi, your mention of Lake Erie brings back a lot of good memories for me. My favorite aunt and uncle lived in northern Ohio and we used to go to Lake erie with them every summer. I'll have to look for the old photos and post them.

Plain Jane said...

The photo is lovely - the colour and warmth of it.

Water [not in a bottle or pool] for me is a mystery that evokes a feeling of strength, the unknown, a bit of fear... mother nature in all her glory. It is gentle and refreshing, it is salt and spray, it can erode the world around us with a gentle insistance like few other things.

We can't breathe it, we can't control it, we are infinitely tiny in the face of water.

Jennie said...

We just visited your area in July. We spent a week north of Goderich on the beach. I wanted to tell you that there were a couple issues of the London Free Press in the place we stayed and I paged through them to find you, but had no luck on those days. :) I wrote a little about our beautiful week there on my blog.