It’s no accident that when we want to relax and recharge, most of us head for the beach.
How often during the working day do you see the colour of the sky, or notice a change in the weather? How much of the light in your workplace comes from the sun? Try switching off the lights and see how long it takes your eyes to adjust – and how different it looks!
We spend so much of our working lives in physically confined spaces, artificial light, hemmed in by restrictive ways of working and oversized egos. The beach is an instant antidote to all of that.
The beach heals your soul. Big skies, bright light, a distant horizon. Not only does it look different, it feels different; it brings alive all our senses. Intoxicating sea air, salt on your skin, sand between your toes. Freedom to move, breathe, relax. Time slows down. From having no time to do anything but prepare for the next meeting, suddenly there’s all the time to read, think, talk, play, dream, experiment, share…
The beach represents the edge of our world, where earth meets water meets air. It’s a creative place to be, constantly changing and renewing itself. Everyday the sea brings new materials to inspire our imagination. Sometimes we find things that have been floating around for so long they’ve transformed into something new and beautiful. We can write giant letters and draw shapes in the sand, create incredible sculptures, construct sandcastles, dig complex engineering works, make collages of pebbles, shells, bird feathers and other found objects. By morning, the sea will have erased everything, ready for us to begin again.
The beach gives you a new perspective on life. It’s a place to sort out your mental inbox: this belongs to the past, this belongs to the present, this belongs to the future. Only when we remove ourselves from the everyday thick of things can we start to see clearly.
With practice, we can all learn to carry the beach with us, so that we can bring it to mind whenever we want to challenge the boundaries between what is fixed and what is fluid. In time, the beach becomes a state of mind that co-exists with our life at the busy, crowded centre. Somewhere that we can escape to whenever we choose.
Is it any wonder that we all dream about going to the beach?