Life lessons from a day on the beach

If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, you could always go to a medical clinic and sit for an hour and a half in an airless waiting room packed with dozens of sniffling slow-dying people, so by the time you finally see a doctor you have 11 new diseases including measles and a fruit bat virus.

Or you could do what I did and just go to a beach – no waiting room, no contagion, no prescriptions, no consultation fee, and it’s all bulk-billed. Mostly seagull bills, but sometimes a hooded plover if you’re sitting in a protected spot where you’re not supposed to be sitting.

As I lay on my towel, the calming ocean sounds helped me escape my mental worries – family stuff, global problems, confusion over whether you should or shouldn’t put parmesan on a seafood pasta…Credit:SHUTTERSTOCK

The beach cured ALL of my ailments. The bracing sea air cleaned out my lungs like a Karcher high-pressure water blaster blasted into each nostril. The warm sun activated my photosynthetic processes, revitalising my limp fronds and droopy stalk. And when I immersed myself in the sea, oh man! – the ice-cold water slapped my heart in a way my heart likes to be slapped, right on the ventricle, leaving no bruise marks. Then my entire body was nourished with ocean minerals and seaweed extracts … and a few stormwater contaminants, so I moved away from the outflow pipe and swam in a clearer patch where everyone else was swimming.

The beach gave me a beauty treatment as well. The soft sand was like a foot pedicure, gently buffing my dry dead heels – then the barnacled rock pools buffed off the rest of my foot skin. The salty water was like a salon shampoo, giving my hair a natural voluminous Head & Shoulders bounce – and not just on my head, on my shoulders too. The UV rays were like my personal tanning booth, but I’m not an idiot, I know tanning is skin cells in trauma, so I just tanned until my skin cells were feeling a bit angsty then I covered up.

The beach kept giving its gifts, kept healing me. As I lay on my towel, the calming ocean sounds helped me escape my mental worries – family stuff, global problems, confusion over whether you should or shouldn’t put parmesan on a seafood pasta (nobody knows, it’s stressful at dinner parties). Pretty soon I entered a Deep Meditative State of Multi-Dimensional Positivity where the Higher Self Dwells – that’s when I realised that maybe I should go home because my brain was boiling inside my skull like a crab in a bouillabaisse.

But the beach had one final surprise for me: a spiritual awakening. Just as I was about to get up to go, I heard a fluttering over my head and spotted a piece of white paper flapping in the breeze. It flapped towards me and landed on my towel, face up, right in front of my eyes. It was a page carefully cut out of a book. No idea where it came from. Nobody else was around. No hooded plover was running past with scissors.

On the page was a printed quote: “Loneliness is accretive, extending, and perpetuating itself. Once it becomes impacted, it is by no means easy to dislodge. Olivia Laing, The Lonely City.” My mind was fully blown: I didn’t know who Olivia Laing was or what half those words meant … but clearly this was a cosmic message about dealing with my current state of being, about getting my headspace right, and it had been delivered to me by Mother Nature Herself, The Supreme Beach-Healing Deity.

Tucking the precious page into my pocket, I headed home immediately. I think my boiled bouillabaisse brain was just about ready to plate up.

Danny Katz is a regular columnist.

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