I had no idea how much we would learn on our outing to the beach. We left for the beach at 9am and didn’t return until 3pm.
It started with us collecting shells so LM could write her name on the sand, “something to remember her by’. As we went through the shells we noted the individual differences in texture, colour, size, shape and smell! It was like some crazy corporatised mindfulness exercise – we were completely immersed. We also discussed the kinds of critters that use shells and why.
After LM’s wonderful, memorable installation was completed we decided that we should do something about the amount of rubbish we saw while we were shell searching. So, we accosted a number of pet people for poo bags and started collecting rubbish from the beach. We noticed how many people were stepping over it and imagined how clean it would be if every one of them just picked up one or two pieces each. We ended up collecting about six poo bags full from one small section of the beach. It’s something we do in our own town all the time, but we don’t usually collect nearly as much.
After ‘hospital washing’ our hands, LM insisted that we return to the water and walk along the edge until we reached our lunchtime cafe destination. So with our shoes off once again, we wandered along the beach full of bodies for over an hour. LM noticed that a lot of ocean critters had been washed ashore during the tide and were at risk of being squished, so she developed a gentle system (using two discarded plastic spoons) of picking them up and walking them out to deeper water. She returned all the jellyfish, coral and starfish she could find.
I became completely obsessed with collecting sea-glass. I hitched up my dress and picked up as many pieces as my achy-breaky back would allow. LM had to drag me off the beach to eat lunch.
The cafe required that we wear shoes, it was at this point I realised that I had lost one of my shoes. So we snuck in and I hid my bare feet under the table. This particular beachside cafe brings kids crayons, colouring in and word-puzzles, so we happily cooled down and did the puzzles and pics together.
We returned with a collection of shells, a scarf full of sea-glass, two plastic spoons, three shoes and some sunburn.