Summer is over for another year. The picnic cooler, the thermos mugs which hold our coffee, our beach sandals, and the beach chairs have all been packed away for another year. It is sad knowing that it will be a whole year before we can once again return to the peace and quiet of the seashore.
So what is my fascination with the beach, you may wonder? Well, there are a few reasons.
The beach offers a peaceful interlude away from the comforts of home; a time to get out and breathe in the fresh air laden with the scents of nature. ~ Sandi W
When I was a girl, my father used to take us camping with friends every summer to Stanhope Beach which is on the north shore. Those were such fun times! My brother and I would run freely through the woods to the canteen and buy lick-a-maids for a penny, not minding a bit that our fingers and mouths were stained from those sweet and sour treats. There was always an adventure or two to be found every day in those woods.
Oftentimes we would walk down from our camp site to the beach where Daddy would 'bury us in the sand.'
A day at Stanhope beach with our family where the grandchildren got 'buried in the sand' by their uncle.
One of the castles being built during a sand sculpturing contest this past summer at Brackley beach.
At night, we would all sit around the camp fire singing along with the accordion that our family friend would bring along while we roasted marshmallows and hot dogs on sticks.
A few short years later, I met my true love who also had a love for the beach. He had grown up there so it was only natural that we would want to spend time there together.
You see, here on our little Island, we are surrounded by water and the seashore is a place that continually beckons to our hearts. It is a place where we feel closest to our Creator. Standing on the shore looking out over the water, one feels like they are standing on the edge of the universe. We are always in awe of His creation.
The Beach .... the only place where salt lowers your blood pressure. ~ unknown
For us, the beach is a special place where our troubles seem to vanish on each lace-edged wave which laps upon the shore. It is here we seek tranquility.
One doesn't have to go far to find a beach because it wraps itself snugly around our little Island gifting us with multitudes of places to go and relax. One particular area of the north shore alone boasts several beaches in a row; Brackley, Covehead, Stanhope, Dalvay, and Tracadie with several smaller spots in between each one.
Now let's go back a few decades....
Also nestled on the north shore of PEI is a small community which was my hubby's stomping grounds. You know all about those little communities where everyone knew everyone else and the hub of the community was the little country store which stood across the road from my hubby's homestead.
Running along side of my hubby's home was and still is a road called Watts Road. Watts was the name of the land which was owned by Hubby's Dad and his relatives. This road ran from the main road in the community all the way down to the beach. Here and there along the Road were cottages tucked in among the trees. At the end of the road is a small clearing for parking your car and that led to a path which led to the sand dunes and the water beyond.
So, let's take a walk down that road and discover the hidden treasure at the end of it. The first half of this road is paved and the other half is clay.
First we park the car in the little clearing in the woods and then follow the pathway.
The pathway leads to a boardwalk.
Behind those sand dunes lies the Gulf of St Lawrence which hooks into the Atlantic Ocean.
If one could see far enough, you would catch a glimpse of Newfoundland.
As far as the eye can see there is sand and sea and sky.
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul and spirit fly. ~ Van Morrison
Now picture, if you will, two young people very much in love, lured by the sound of the waves and the peace and quiet that can be found in their special place. How they relished the feel of the warm sand between their toes and the sun on their faces. Being together on the beach was total bliss!
When Hubby and I were going together, the sand dunes were much higher and there were areas that were hidden from view to those walking along the pathway and the shore. We discovered a secret place which we had all to ourselves.
It was our own little hidden world which had been scooped out by nature among the sand dunes. We would spread a blanket and unpack the chocolate milk and butter tarts and watch the seagulls soar overhead. We loved to watch the big fluffy clouds drift by and pointed out animals and castles we saw forming shapes in those great billows of white.
Once in a while we would venture down there at sun set and watch the clouds until they looked like cotton candy. We would build a small fire and when the sky looked like black velvet, we would watch the old stars peeping out above us. It was there in our secret place that we giggled and talked for hours about our hopes and dreams and what our life together would be like. Ah, young love!
The years seem to have sprouted wings and flown by.... Three wonderful children and five precious grandchildren later, the landscape has changed considerably, just like our lives.
Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone. ~ Anonymous
Over the years, a boardwalk has taken the place of the pathway and it snakes through the grass linking the little parking lot in the woods to the sand dunes. Our secret place hidden among the sand dunes has disappeared into the landscape and is no more.
It is rather sad. Although the old waves still lap upon the shore and the sand still stretches as far as the eye can see, our secret place has disappeared, just like our youth.
But we have all those beautiful memories together! We carry them safely tucked within our hearts to be pulled out from time to time and savoured. Those are the times we remember those two young people so full of life with all their hopes and dreams ahead of them.
Today, when we visit the north shore, we can still hear the laughter of that young couple off in the distance. And it is as though they had never left.
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Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi