My beach at Freight’s Bay is different again this morning. The tide is low, but some of the sand that had returned after the scouring of the winter storms has been scooped away again. The beach is angled instead of flat, and fist sized pieces of coral lay scattered on the soft sand.
I have been on this beach nearly every day since we moved near it, three months ago. Before that, I walked Silver Sands beach. It was more sheltered, less mutable, though the waves could be varied.
Barbados beaches have their distinct characters. From the wild, roaring surf of Bathsheba or Long Beach, to the sheltered pocket of Miami, to the soft waves of the West Coast, to the boardwalk, bar and restaurant strolls of the South— each has its own beauty. But my visits to other beaches are snapshots, whereas Freights I know intimately, in all its variations.
So too, my life with beaches constantly changes. My childhood was the sheltered shores of Ontario lakes, learning to swim under watchful eyes. (Or perhaps by being thrown off the dock, depending on who was in charge!)
As a teen, unsupervised on the Pacific coast, I almost drowned while trying to impress a boy, who not only didn’t rescue me but didn’t even notice I’d gone in the water. As a university student I moved away from the ocean, and missing it was an ache in my heart.
For many years I walked the shores alongside my ex-husband. He always knew where he was going, and following him took me to many beautiful beaches. For a time I watched over my children, as they progressed from crawling and eating sand to splashing, swimming, snorkelling and eventually surfing.
For a while I walked cold beaches, alone with my thoughts.
Today in Barbados, I am as mutable as the beaches. Most days I throw myself into the surf with the enthusiasm of my teen years. Some days I walk alone, greeting children and dogs; other times Scott and I hold hands and match footsteps. Another day he might run and I walk, or I surf while he runs or simply watches. We might snorkel, or even just jump the waves, laughing.
I am glad that my travels once more have me living beside the beach.