As beach season spikes in North America—and we shake off winter’s grip in our area of South America—why don’t I make that 5-minute skip down the hill to the beach more often? Good question. After all, it’s farther for me to buy groceries than to enjoy those beach benefits.
“The beach is calling, and I must go…” reads a plaque that a friend gave me recently. But the truth is, sometimes I don’t go when I could or even should. Even though it’s my happy place, my dream destination…
Why do I so often opt to stay home and watch reruns on TV? My (not-so-valid) list of reasons sounds something like this:
- “Oh, there’s too much wind, hon. It bothers my ears, and it’ll take half an hour to set up the windbreak.”
- “It’s so cold I’ll have to wear my Canadian jacket. You know, the choice between feeling warm and feeling ridiculous?”
- “They tore down all the kiosks, and now there’s no place to go to the bathroom. Grrr…”
- “The traffic is just horrendous during tourist season. It takes forever to find a place to park.”
- “I can’t find the other half of the umbrella pole. Wasn’t it cracked, anyway?”
- “I have too much work to do today. Things will fall apart here if I don’t get that letter written and the vacuuming done and…”
- “Life is just too depressing anyway. I might as well throw in my beach towel along with the rest of ’em.”
The Saltwater Cure
Instead of listening to my own whining, I should probably just heed the call of the beach and GO. Five years from now, when I’m shivering through a Nova Scotia snowstorm, I’m pretty sure I’ll wish I was plugging cotton into my ears and skirting the seaweed on Horseshoe Beach, Coquimbo.
“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” –Jacques Cousteau
A few weeks ago, I discussed some of the benefits of salt. How about the health benefits of saltwater and salt air? Someone has joked that the beach is the only place where salt lowers your blood pressure. I absolutely agree.
For years, the only saline solution I could find in Chile to rinse my contact lenses was “physiological serum,” purchased at a pharmacy. It was basically an IV solution—the drip of life. That same saltwater just may provide a cure for everything.
As sweat, it cools the body when we exercise. As tears, it washes grief and worry from the mind. A dose of the beach can clear the head, revive the soul, renew the heart.
No matter how much effort we must expend to get there, no matter what urgent task screams back at the office, it’s always, always, worth taking the saltwater cure.
Have you taken your vitamins today? Getting a regular dose of Vitamin Sea—or something similar—will reap extraordinary physical, mental, and even spiritual health benefits.
Not all of us live close enough to slip down to the ocean once a week—or even once a year. But discover a happy place, dear sister, where you can take a deep breath and a long snooze, where you can rest or meditate, walk or run—even if it’s only your backyard or around the block.
We need beach beauty in our lives. If God has given you the chance to delight in life’s special treats, please don’t let those fleeting moments of joy pass you by with logical excuses like mine. Sure, there will always be another day. You will always find more housework and less than ideal weather.
But instead, you can always ask, “Why not now?” Make the time—or just take the time—to do whatever nourishes your soul. Read. Journal. Listen. Play games. Drink coffee with friends.
For my part, I cherish my Vitamin SEA: S—Stop, slow down, and bask in the sunshine. E—enjoy, take it easy, energize. A—breathe the aaawesome air, appreciate the blessings. Celebrate! Live! And when our cup is full of saltwater, we’ll have plenty to give away.
Like Cousteau, a lot of what I do as I stroll along my stretch of beach is figure out how best to share my God-given experiences with others. I may not be a diver, but I’ve discovered plenty of under-the-surface treasures. After all, Seaglass Books began with a walk along the shore…
It’s time to answer the call and take advantage of those beach benefits.