One of my favorite things to do besides taking long beach walks is to sit and read at the beach. One day over the weekend, I found myself alone on the beach without a book. My husband was driving our son to the gym for physical therapy. Our son’s girlfriend had walked to a surf shop to rent a board and wetsuit.
I wanted to get back to the house to pick up the book I’m reading — Shirley Jackson’s “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” But I was a good three miles away from the house. So I just sat. It was one of the most peaceful afternoons I’ve experienced in a long time. It was too bright to surf on my phone. I couldn’t even read emails.
I watched the pelicans, egrets and sandpipers. I watched the waves. I felt connected to the sea.
Here’s the opening paragraph of the Shirley Jackson book I’m reading:
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/89724.We_Have_Always_Lived_in_the_Castle
I read “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” when I was a teenager. My mom had a copy. Then I read it again after college. It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve picked it up. It is still captivating.
But sometimes I just like to sit. I find it beyond relaxing. Watching the waves I find similar to meditation.
Do you ever find yourself just sitting? Why do you think it’s good for us to be quiet — and not be reading, on our phones or computer? Do you have a book to recommend for my beach vacation?