Spirited! qualities may be found in people, places, things and activities. Spirited places are those that evoke special feelings within you, whenever you visit them.
I am very blessed to live close to over 40kms of the world's most stunning beaches. Here the sand is soft and white, the shades of the ocean vary from the deepest turquoise to the subtlest blue and the waves might be crashing against the shore or just gently lapping its edges. Depending on the time of day and the season, the sand may be cold and harsh, warm and comforting or even burning and the sky showcases the most amazing hues.
Some days the landscape is filled with coloured umbrellas, children with zinc streaked noses, sandcastles, beach balls and bikini clad swimmers. This scene evokes a happy, upbeat but relaxed summer holiday feel.
However, I usually visit a quieter beach at sunrise or sunset when it isn't quite so hot. I prefer to remove my shoes and walk barefoot, making my way along the water's edge where the sand is harder and the incoming waves can gently lap my feet. There's something so refreshing about feeling the first 'shock' of cold, salty water.
There are times when I walk with a friend; a 'catch up' walk where we share the week's events and enjoy a 'cuppa' afterwards. It's refreshing, relaxing, comfortable and predictable.
Very often, though, it's a solo walk and the beach evokes different feelings. The solitary walk is meditative. I step on to the sand with a head filled with the day's events but I find that as I walk, the issues and problems seem to melt away. It seems that the more I focus on the beauty of the beach, the less space there is in my mind for the trivialities of life. Nature has a wonderful way of inspiring me by the sheer simplicity of its beauty.
The beach brings the blessings of life giving water and a warming sun. The meditative nature of my walk so often brings me a deeper calm and peace and an overwhelming gratitude for the abundance of my life; the beauty and goodness of those spirited people and places that nurture and protect me.
There are times when I can't be bothered going for a walk but I can't say there are too many times when I don't come off the beach feeling refreshed, relaxed, calm and yet, energised. And, that's why for me, Gold Coast beaches are simply spirited!
Do you have a favourite beach that evokes special feelings in you each time you visit? Please share!
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