One thing I never anticipated from getting a little older is having such an appreciation and longing for the outdoors. I work 9-5 on websites and while I usually love what I do, it’s given me a deep appreciation for tangible, natural surroundings. Websites are great fun but I can find myself so enveloped in them that I feel, ironically, disconnected from the rest of the world.
I spent this weekend in Eastbourne and the thing I wanted to see most was Beachy Head. I had seen photos on Instagram when I looked up the city hashtag and I just needed to see it. The winds were strong – I couldn’t face walking to the top – and I wasn’t dressed appropriately but I loved it. I don’t know if it’s growing up in Liverpool and then Largs that’s made me appreciate the seaside so deeply but I always feel more like myself when I’m collecting shells and gathering sea salt in my hair.
It still blows my mind that such stunning, sometimes dramatic seascapes are practically on my doorstep. A few years ago, I went to see my friend in Irvine on a cold, stormy evening and the first thing I wanted us to do together was to visit the rocky part of the beach. I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. I wanted to see the sea crash against the rocks and for the rocks to be soaked, covered in seaweed but still standing. Not unchanged by what had happened but not destroyed, either.
The storms stop and eventually they dry out, return to their former state with maybe just a little residue.
And the cycle repeats.
I’m struggling right now. I can feel the waves crashing against my resilient, strong self and sometimes I feel that they may, finally, take me down. I might drown.
I think, though, that I’ll instead recover from this with just a little seaweed woven into my already messy hair.