Losing our cares at the beach


I’ve been working on some emotional posts recently and the accumulative effect of this has been mood-swings – euphoric one minute, dismal the next.

The best tonic for me when this happens is the beauty of the natural world. Getting out in the fresh air, feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin, losing my thoughts in the incessant crashing of the waves on the beach; these remind me of the bigger picture and make my niggling concerns seem insignificant. It also takes me back to my early childhood, when I spent most of my time outdoors, avoiding the inexplicable events in our household. It’s where I feel “at home”.

The week started with a windchill temperature of minus twenty, but yesterday afternoon we enjoyed sixteen degree sunshine as we busied ourselves building, drawing and laughing in the sand.

All around us there were signs of spring – from the verdant green of new grass shoots pushing up through the brown carpet of last years growth, to the melodic birdcalls passing back and forth between tree and telegraph pole occupants!

S, of course, got her feet wet throwing rocks within the first ten minutes and J confided she needed to pee, but after relief of the Behind-The-Bush variety we ended up staying a good couple of hours. And we hadn’t anticipated having to backtrack three-quarters of the way after realising minutes from home, that S had jettisoned her gloves in a fit of piqué some time ago.

Following the glove Search & Rescue operation we made it home, scattering liberal amounts of sand as we removed shoes, starving hungry and in high spirits! I can always rely on Nature to bring me back to living in the moment – that’s where the true beauty lies.



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Whitby Shores, Whitby, Ontario

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. I can so relate to this post re. “Losing our cares at the beach” I can stand for ages just looking out to sea leaving me with a feeling of peace.
    There is something spiritual about nature which you either experience or not.

    1. Absolutely! I always feel as though I’m where I’m supposed to be when I go there. In fact I made a mental note this time to speak to K about settling by the water eventually.

  2. I can very much relate to you and your struggles. I have an extreme mood disorder that leads me all over the place. In my attempt to break the silence, I recently started a photography blog/community for people living with, or affected by, mental illness. It’s an online gallery that will hopefully lead to real gallery shows. Perhaps we can contribute to each others’ projects. Come by some time and see if you want to join and/or submit. We would welcome your talent. http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com
    Feel well,
    D. and the Broken Light Collective

  3. Stunning photos of the children! I completely relate to the need to be in nature to “clear my mind” and feel whole again! As always, I enjoy reading your blog posts. You have a very special gift!

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