Our sweet little shih-tzu, Magnolia (usually called Maggie), also just loves the beach--to the point that we have to spell the word when we talk about going because she gets so excited about the possibility. She starts a joyful dance and spin-around routine at the sight or smell of my battered red and white striped beach bag. However, I don't like to take her in the heat and relentless sunshine of mid-day any more than I like it for myself. Early evening is a perfect time for her to race around in the sand, as in today's photo.
Yesterday, the three of us set out for the beach (about a 15 minute drive from home) at about 7 p.m. and were home again by 8:45. There was a lovely breeze off the water--by 8:30 it was almost chilly. Several ships and a shrimp boat were visible far out on the horizon. Other than that, it was a rather ordinary evening: a pleasant sunset but too few clouds for spectacular color, no dolphin sightings, only the rather sad sight of an old sea turtle, which had apparently died near shore, now revealed by the receding tide.
Yet the sound of the surf, the happy shrieks of children, the young couple with a tiny, very new baby proudly posing with her for pictures against the ocean backdrop, and the fresh smell of the sea breeze all were magical to me. We returned home feeling as refreshed as if we had been on vacation. I am thankful for the restoring natural beauty around us and hope that you have special places for renewal as well--and that you take the time to enjoy those places, even if just for an hour or two. It's not expensive or time-consuming to love life and live it fully, but it does require creative awareness and the willingness to do the things that bring us peace and joy.
Question of the day: What place or activity restores your inner peace?