As I am writing this, the sky starts to pour, complete with thunder and lightning. Then would it sound a little odd to talk about going to the beach now? I don’t think so.
Being born and raised on a peninsula and having grown up in an island nation surrounded by archipelagos, going to the beach has become part of life, or rather, a way of life. No planning in advance is required and the gears are ever ready, such as a bathing suit, a batik sarong and straw mats, a hat, sunglasses and trendy flip-flops, plus a suitable sun block or sun tan oil. And more importantly, have a “beachie” mood!
Albeit it’s the month of showers, there is no short of beach-goers. The beach is not monopolised by sunbathing, beach volleyball and sand castles. Beachfront sheltered food & beverage joints, golf driving ranges and spas are not uncommon. Even without physically being at the beach, a view of the beach from a nearby window or platform is pleasant enough to make me happy!
My visits to different beaches have taught me that, there is a grain of fine sand wrapped under that layer of grease, there is a litter bug lurking at the beach no matter how civic-minded the community is; a storm can be brewing beneath the sparkling water surface, and a human act can destroy everything beneath that; a clear blue sky is not something permanent and so is a gloomy or stormy weather. Every member of the nature and the elements is to be treated with due respect, and sometimes, in awe.
This tongue twister reminds me of the peddlers of snacks and souvenirs as well as manicure and temporary body tattoo services offered at some beaches. Try reciting it aloud the next time you visit a beach:
“She sells sea shells on the seashore.
The shells she sells are seashells, I am sure.
For if she sells seashells on the seashore
Then I am sure she sells seashore shells.”
The piece was written by Terry Sullivan in 1908 and believed to be inspired by the life of Mary Anning, who was a fossil collector and paleontologist. One of her important finds was the Jurassic age marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis.