The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Go with the tides

Stormy skies

Perfect vacation tip #4: Go with the tides

"We weathered our trip (from my resistant start, and because of that, my not bringing R. Carson and E. Gibbons), thru the turn-around for gas and a few flora, -- and the cotton, to the actual breath-taking welcome of our lovely house on stilts, with all the light and air--to the actual beach, the constant surf, the wonderful wind, the light, always the light!--I could go on, as you know. I'm esp. glad we went to Brookgreen, not only the statues and beautiful live oaks, with the Spanish moss, but also the cypress swamp, and the beginning realizations of previous times there. And, having Steve and Maxine, Frankie (and his rehearsing!) and Kyrstie, did add to it! And, all our happy meals were the perfect sustenance for that time and place. You were tireless! Mark was so good to do all the driving! Now, home, the soft mist, with the fallen and turning leaves it's easier to transition into mountain ways."
--- Mom

Collecting shells

As I'll mention in a later post, we did go on a few real excursions as part of our vacation, but mostly we just drifted in the day and ocean's rhythms.  Mom and I seemed to naturally wake with (or just before) the sun, allowing us to take a stroll up the beach as the sun rose. 

Beach combing

Low tide came in the early morning, so dawn turned up shells fresh for the picking.  Mom and I were sometimes on the beach before prime shell-picking time, when dog walkers went out in the near-dark.  By the time we reached the north end of the island, where the creek behind created an extended shallow area, there was enough light to pick up broken sand dollars and whole sea urchins.  (We even saw a living sea urchin in the shallow water our first night there!)

When my stomach started to growl, the sun was up and the coffee walkers were on the beach, strolling with mugs in hand.  Later, we'd come back to the beach for a quick swim at high tide.

Sea finds

Spreading out shellsI make it sound linear and regimented, but the best thing about our beach combing is that it wasn't either.  Only on the last day did I realize that others were planning their day around the perfect shelling times.  Using Mom's whimsy as a guide, I squashed my Type A need to turn up perfect shells, and instead found beauty in the colors and textures of fragments.

On our last day, I felt a twinge of regret that I hadn't done this or that, but then I realized that I vastly preferred to go with the tides.  After all, it's better to be thoroughly in the moment than to do it all.

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This post is part of our Gratuitous Vacation Photos lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I can't get over how much your Mum looks like by grandmother's little sister! Well, 22 years ago, when I visited her in Canada one Christmas. She also used to come out to Australia occasionally.

Even the mannerisms, the enthusiasm, the obvious curiosity are exactly the same!

Comment by Darren (Green Change) Tue Oct 22 22:05:46 2013

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