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Sunday, September 25, 2011

A trip to the beach

This nice story in Redding.com written by a mother about a trip to the beach with her family:
Our trip to Oregon offered my family many adventures and memories this summer.

We rolled down giant sand dunes, walked behind thundering waterfalls, and biked along some beautiful coastline and forest paths. But the memory I'll treasure most was our day at Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park.

The day dawned gray and drizzly, but if you let such days stop you from getting outside, you probably shouldn't be on the Oregon coast. We bundled up and headed out for the walk down to Short Sands Beach. It is a cove framed by sheer rock walls, tall spruce trees and waterfalls cascading down and out toward the sea. It was stunning to behold, and so very, very cold.

We weren't on the beach but five minutes when I looked out and saw my son Davey stripped down to his underwear, splashing in the surf. My first reaction was the sensible Mom one, "It's too cold! You'll get sick We don't have towels Put your clothes back on " You get the picture. But I've been a mom long enough to know that my first reaction isn't always the right one. I didn't utter a word.

Instead I chose to stand back and witness my son's exuberant celebration of being 6. There was glory in Davey's skinny little body dancing about in those waves, being young and carefree. He was shivering from excitement as much as from the cold. The dark, gray water was exhilarating and his spirit was fed by it.

It was a privilege to witness such joy exuding from my boy. There was beauty in his full abandon playing in the cold ocean water. Davey's happy squeals and laughter rang out across the beach. The tears fell freely down my cheeks as I realized the days of such childhood freedom are passing all too quickly. I began madly snapping pictures to capture Davey in this moment, in his tighties, frolicking in the cold waves at age 6. I didn't want to forget it.

It was a privilege to witness such joy exuding from my boy. There was beauty in his full abandon playing in the cold ocean water. Davey's happy squeals and laughter rang out across the beach. The tears fell freely down my cheeks as I realized the days of such childhood freedom are passing all too quickly. I began madly snapping pictures to capture Davey in this moment, in his tighties, frolicking in the cold waves at age 6. I didn't want to forget it.

Davey's joyful display made me quietly acknowledge I almost always choose comfort over experience. Why be cold and wet when I can be bundled and dry? I was on that same beach with the same opportunity to embrace the wild fun of those waves, but I passed. Instead, I watched the action from afar cozy and warm in my several layers. But sometimes experience trumps comfort. I wish I had chosen differently that day. I should have rolled up my pant legs and run through the surf squealing and laughing with my boy, to experience the small slice of heaven offered.

I've read joy described as "Life in excess, the overflow of what cannot be contained within any one person." That's what I saw in my Davey that day on the beach, life in excess. It's not every day you witness such carefree, unadulterated joy. Treasure it when you do. And better yet, join in.

This mother's viewpoint may or may not be receiving overwhelming endorsements from other mothers or readers. As a bystander and freaque wave aficionado, it struck me as she had temporarily forgotten about beach safety and the many perils that might be involved. I am not sure if she aware of the warnings about sneaker waves Coast Guard and Oregon beach authorities issued or the tragic beach stories that has happened from around the world beaches including the Oregon beaches. Just in one unexpected moment a freaque wave could suddenly rushed in and swipe her young son off his feet into the deep part of the ocean. Then what she'll do? I am not saying that they should not enjoy the beach, but I think at the very least the adult should always watch out for the sign of an incoming large wave that may come without advance warning. I am happy that they really enjoyed their outing, they are lucky as most of the beach visitors are since nothing has happened. But the possibility of a freaque wave come in at any time and at any part of the beach should never be too far from the adults' mind during a family's beach outing -- enjoy but just be aware, be alert, watchful, on guard and be prepared just in case when you are least expected . . . !


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