Updated: Feb 3, 2018
It's not very much like a sunscreen ad. There are no flip flops involved. Definitely no bathing suits. But my trusty rubber boots play a starring roll.
When I was a little girl, enduring northern Michigan's brutal winters, I was sure I'd grow up and move to Florida, spend my days in denim cutoffs and a bathing suit, write novels under a palm tree. But it turns out I hate being hot almost as much as I hate being stuck indoors with five feet of snow on the ground outside. So give me scrubby salal and wind-twisted evergreens instead of palm trees any day.
As an added bonus, there aren't very many people out on the beach when it's cloudy, windy, and drizzling, so I have plenty of space to enjoy the sand and the sound of the waves. If you don't count the seagulls raising a ruckus when someone throws food scraps off the balcony of their hotel room. I love the strange, desperate-sounding call of seagulls. It's an important note in the music of the shore.
The brisk, salty air soothes my skin as the muted colors soothe my vision. The enormity of the ocean reminds me how many of the things I fret about are tiny and fleeting. The wind carries off all the energetic weight accumulated over days of being too preoccupied with my worries and frustrations. After an hour or two in this habitat I feel simultaneously energized and relaxed.