This is today’s weird thought. Today, we spent four hours sitting on the beach (in New Quay) and during that time, we hardly moved. It was hot and crowded. We were surrounded by people (an eavesdropper’s dream and a sketcher’s dream). We weren’t alone in our desire to spend the day sitting on the beach.
About two meters in front of us lay the sea. The sky remained blue all day. The sun shone without respite. The temperature was a nice, even 25. The wind blew gently. The sand was consistently sandy. So that probably sounds perfect.
However, it was actually a bit boring. I managed a day of this but I don’t understand why people can do this for a whole week (probably in Greece or Turkey rather than West Wales), once a year. I had my book with me but over the four-hour period I read only about 40 pages, so that is 10 pages an hour. That’s not very much. What else did I do? I made two sketches. These took about five minutes each. So, what is left? Sitting. I sat. I eavesdropped. I shut my eyes. I watched my children play. I ate warm sandwiches and drank warm diet coke. I watched everyone else playing and sitting, and shutting their eyes, and eating warm sandwiches and drinking warm diet coke.
In the real world I’m not very good at sitting. Perhaps that is the issue here.
Today’s lazy day was unusual for me and it was quite pleasant as it only lasted four hours. But I don’t want to do the same tomorrow. I certainly couldn’t do a week of it. And I can’t imagine doing it by a pool in Greece or Turkey where the weather remains constant. So what is it about sitting on the beach with lots of other people that appeals to those lots of other people? Or were they all thinking as I was: ‘Why Are We All Here?’
To find an answer, I’ve turned to that wonderful world of science: we are drawn to the ocean. We’re in a constant search for happiness and calm and the sea makes us feel happy and calm. The sea hypnotizes and we like to feel hypnotized. However, science argues that there is more to it than that. Could it be that the sound of the sea mirrors sounds we heard in the womb (the wooshing of bodily fluids)? Perhaps it is the blue that calms us down? Maybe we feel an evolutionary pull to the ocean as it has provided us with the things we need to survive (food and water)?I love the sea but I struggle to sit in front of it for hours on a hot day.
I don’t think science adequately explains why we want to sit next to this wondrous blue stuff with everyone else and roast like potatoes.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain so I doubt we will sit on the beach for another four hours. We’ll probably instead sit in a cafe and watch the rain fall on the sea, which I find just as relaxing as watching the sea dazzle the sun. I bet I read more than 10 pages an hour though tomorrow.