Scary stories from a lovely place
Last week was one of the most pleasurable of my life. It had a lot to do with the weather – temperatures upwards of 20 degrees each day, no wind, glassy ocean, sunshine with power. It turned out to be Stephen’s last week of unemployment, so his presence enhanced everything. Stephen spearfished while the Little Deer and I supervised. I baked and read and knitted and played with babies. We saw friends old and new.
The nicest thing though was taking Silas to the beach. He’s ventured there a few times previously and his response was always to put his face down into the sand or push handfuls of the salty granules into his mouth. The first time we took him on to the rock platform was a cool afternoon last week. He got saturated which was then transferred to me as I carried him home. It was worth it. The pleasure and excitement he experienced as he splashed in the little pools of trapped water, felt the weed and the slime congealed rocks, disrupted the homes of thousands of shell dwelling creatures and scraped his fingers through the sand was only matched by the joy I felt in watching him.
The second beach visit was on another late afternoon. The sun disappears faster than I had realised behind the frown of the escarpment that runs all the way to Wollongong from Sydney. This time we went again to the rock platform, but this time at Coledale beach. Again, Silas’ pleasure was intense. I too love the beach. It is one of my favourite places in the world. For me the beach has always been a place to play, think, practice conversations with people, pray and explore. I wanted to get married at the beach, but getting engaged was good enough.
As Silas splashed and slid around I marveled at his expressiveness. A few shrill screams, pointing and shaking his whole body and exploring with every part of his body expressed his thrill for the ocean better than I ever could with words. That is the beauty of little people. They can’t talk or reason, they can be really annoying and difficult, but they are so innocent that they are far better at enjoying life than adults.
Finally the third beach visit was with cousins – more little people to share the enjoyment with. And this time the sun was high in the sky.