Yesterday, after weeks of seeing nothing but my 4 bedroom walls and the occasional field of grass on my daily walks, we headed out nice and early to the beach. A change of scenery felt drastically needed, yet driving there in the car I felt anxious, almost if I was doing something wrong by seeing more than the surroundings of where I live. It felt weird but also as if this whole thing wasn't happening for a moment - like life had switched back to normal just for a second.

It was strange to see other cars on the road, driving past McDonald chains that were open again or even just seeing the hills in the distance. I think I'd forgotten that places other than my home existed. I spent the whole journey staring out the window, trying to make myself feel 'normal' again.

My mindset lately has felt really... all over the place, I guess. I've been dealing with some heavy thoughts and feelings, and I was starting to feel like I couldn't breathe - which I suppose is understandable having been inside for 11 weeks, seeing no friends or loved ones. Every thought imaginable had been whirling round my head and my whole body had begun to feel suffocated.

We wanted to get there early as to avoid the floods of people that were going to set up camp for the afternoon and mostly to just enjoy the quiet and the calm that being by the sea can offer. It was that still, tranquil silence that comes with the beach that I really needed.


When we arrived, seeing other early-risers gathering their beach essentials to drag down to the beach felt odd. Like my brain had become conditioned to think everyone was in the 'wrong' for being outdoors or appreciating the sunshine. There were only a handful of people arriving at that time, but it still felt peculiar to me. Seeing other humans that weren't Sharon who lives round the corner was weirdly overwhelming.

It took me a moment to settle into the situation. To allow myself to enjoy this small moment of escapism.

I kept looking into the distance, seeing seagulls swooping through the sky above the sea, and then looking down at my feet to see little sea shells in the sand.

What is it about the beach that seems to be so calming? so soothing? Is it the feeling of wide open space, the sound of the waves, the distant call of an ice cream truck that strikes you with that feeling of Summer? I don't know exactly what it is for me, but I could feel myself slowly melting into it - letting my anxieties fade away for a moment as I chatted to my Mum and Dad or saw a puppy dog happily playing in the distance.

There was a family who were also there that had this big balloon-type ball. It kept being swept away by the wind, gracefully floating across the sand as this little girl stumbled along after it. There was something I liked about that. Well, not the fact that they kept losing their ball, but the image of this ball just floating, travelling across the beach freely.

I wanted to feel as free as that.

I wanted to be swept up by the wind and taken away for a while.

Even to just photograph something other than my bedroom or my garden felt lovely. A new place to be creative is a feeling that I don't think any creator can put into words really. It's like moving into a new house, figuring out the spots you want to decorate, filling the rooms up with your ideas. My eyes were searching for a spot on the beach with clean untouched sand, a view of the distant sea, somewhere that I could photograph that felt my own.

It was nice to go there. I don't think I realised how much I needed it and I also don't feel like I appreciated being there enough. I wish I'd taken longer to sit down and listen to the sounds, to watch people walk their dogs or to write my name in the sand in some cliche "I've been to the beach!" style. But, as we now, this is a weird time, so I think it's hard to let go of the panic of returning back home to 'safety' these days.

I can't wait to get back there when things are 'normal' again though. Hopefully next time it can be with friends, a bottle of Old Mout Cider and a mini BBQ. That'd be nice.

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