What is it about the beach that soothes my soul? Why do I feel different at the beach than I do anywhere else? Why is the beach so important to my happiness?
When I was young, we went “to the lake”. We went to northern Indiana lakes and Michigan lakes. I learned how to swim in a pool, but I went swimming in the lakes of my childhood. To this day, the smell of lake water touches something deep inside me.
I didn’t go “to the beach” until I was in junior high. We started going to Florida. My first encounter with the beach was Treasure Island, Florida. We stayed a week in a small resort that was on the beach. It also had a pool. Back then, the beach was a place I went walking with my dad. I spent all my quality time at the pool. The beach was just too “messy” for me.
My first encounter with my love of the beach was a short trip to Nags Head when Kevin and I lived in Hickory. We stayed at a small hotel right on the beach. It was Easter weekend, so it wasn’t really warm, but it was nice enough to be out on the beach. We had to climb outside stairs to get to our room and sand got everywhere. I loved it! I loved the smell of the sand. I loved the feel of the sand. I loved the sound of the water and the smell of the sea air. I fell in love and I fell hard. We spent our honeymoon on Kiawah Island and spent everyday on the beach. We swam, we sunned, and we rode bikes. We ate seaside. We drank seaside. We left the windows opened at night so we could hear the waves while we were sleeping. This started our love affair with vacations that centered around the beach.
We have been to New England beaches, East Coast beaches. We have been to the east coast and Gulf coast of Florida. We have been to the Panhandle of Florida and Gulf Shores. We have been to the west coast of Michigan so many times; I couldn’t even begin to guess. We have been to the Oregon Coast and the California Coast. Molly and I have been to St. Thomas, St. John and Punta Cana. This past Christmas, we all went to the Riviera Maya for Christmas. It was one of our best vacations ever.
Life changed forever two and a half years ago when we went to San Diego for a February vacation. We went for an escape from the Indiana winter blues and came back with a purpose: to move to San Diego County. Specifically, Oceanside, CA. There was something about this town that felt like home. We belonged there. The beaches in San Diego County spoke to us. We had to move there! We just had to!! We started planning. We started budgeting. We started dreaming. Little did we know that our dream would come true so much sooner than we hoped!
Now, I have my beach whenever I want. I can go there for a day; I can go there for an hour. I have my joy. I can’t explain it; I am at peace at the beach. I am closer to God at the beach. I am joyful at the beach. I am home at the beach. I hope you find your home.