Smiles on the Beach
I don’t know if it is the ocean waves crashing up on to the shore, the sand between your toes, or the smells and sounds of being next to the water, or perhaps its got something to do with the sea creatures, shells and seagulls nearby, but there is something about being on the ocean shoreline that makes people smile.
Once people have that beach smile something else happens. They become more human. As in, they say hello as you walk by. Then because you have made that initial contact, most often, a conversation begins as phrases like “how are you, nice day, beautiful weather today” pop out from folks. Some end there and you move along with that contented smile on your face. Interestingly, we find that those opening phrases do more and before you know it, you find out where folks are from, wind up learning about the area and or the specific shells or items they are searching for and now of course you want to find that as well, or you even might learn the best place for a lobster roll or bowl of chowda (chowder for those of us not from around the area).
People just become more at ease with each other and with life in general. A good example….my husband and I went out for our Saturday morning stroll along the beach to look for sea glass. Coming to the opening to the beach there was a lady standing there. We said hello and the conversation started from there. She asked us what we liked to look for on the beach and when we said sea glass she laughed and said “well let’s walk while we talk so I can help you look” and that’s just what we did. She was a wealth of knowledge and told us stories of the area, pointed out landmarks and told us places in the area we should check out. She also has an amazing eye for finding sea glass and found quite a few pieces for us. She said she has 40 years of sea glass so she was happy to find the pieces for us.
It was while we were walking along the beach with this stranger that it hit me how amazing this was. Who does that these days? Who meets someone and then spends the next hour walking along in their company to know that you’ll part ways at the end of the walk and most likely never see each other again? I don’t really know where else in the world this would happen except perhaps at the beach. I could be wrong and in some ways I am as I’ve traveled the world and met some lovely people but none that have taken the time and easy energy to spend a morning walk with you. It was a lovely morning and made so much nicer from the fact that this was just a random meeting that made us all feel darn good about the world around us.
That has been by far the most extensive meeting of beach folk but we have made fast friends with several other local beachcombers, again, just by that simple smile that connects human beings together and starts that conversation that seems to have endless possibilities. The chance meetings have blossomed into determined meetings as two different individuals assuming they might see my husband and I again, brought their prize/favorite sea glass pieces for us to see. The other, that makes craft items out of shells and sea glass, brought some of her crafted items for us to look at.
We have enjoyed meeting so many nice and genuine folks on our beach walks and hope this continues!