The boys ran along the boardwalk that led through the nature reserve and up the hill towards the sea. As they reached the top of the path, they inhaled deeply the unmistakable saltiness. Blinking from the glare of the sunlight on the waves, they stood perfectly still on the edge of the sea wall, struck into unexpected silence.
It has been too many months since we heeded the siren call of the sea and set off for the beach. We will happily head to the shore in any weather, but a bright, clear winter’s day may be the most perfect conditions of all. Sea air is a miraculous tonic, and after weeks of being cooped up at home, we couldn’t have been more in need of a dose.
Shells were gathered, stones were skipped, sea walls were scaled; sand was squelched, and moulded, and inscribed with sticks. Eddies were splashed in, wellies waded just that little bit too far. Lungs were filled with as much freshness as we could muster. The baby gazed, wide-eyed and was lulled by the murmur of the waves.
Returning home, we were lighter of foot, brighter of spirits and happier of heart. We shall not leave it so long again before we return.