When I watch the children playing, I feel myself transported to a place that is magical and free. A place where there are no rules and no shoulds and shouldn’ts. A place where you can just be yourself and in the present moment. Alive. Uninhibited.

What happy, carefree memories I have of those days. These children built sandcastles and ran in and out of the water tirelessly.

It was the perfect April afternoon: sunny and blustery. The beach was deserted, bar one or two winter autumn swimmers, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.  That is so normal as the weather turns here in Tairua. 

The children, being children, ended up stripping down to their underwear and then after those got wet, whipped them off too!  

A trip to the beach in winter is the purest form of escape. There is no worry about the weather. A summer beach holiday can be knocked off course by a few days of rain, but not a winter trip. There are no activities on the daily calendar, because not much is open and there is no hurry to grab a good spot on the beach. There is no packing, carrying, unpacking and repacking beach chairs, chilly bins and sand toys several times a day, because I do not want to sit for a very long time on a frigid and windy beach.

Plenty of people surf and fish in winter. I admire them for that, but I prefer to go to the beach with no expectations or agenda beyond watching the changes in ocean and clouds.

A winter beach around these parts is quiet. The mere thought of rain and cold pretty much guarantee that you’ll have the place to yourself. The waves sound louder and more constant. The heavier winds intensify the smell of salt and sea grasses and blow a salty mist into your face as you near the surf. In weather that might otherwise keep me locked inside, the draw of the ocean lures me outdoors.

I have been a beach person all my life. It has only been in later years that I stopped swimming thinking it was too cold. Salt and sand seem to trigger a different humour in my body. I breathe more deeply, I sleep better, I am more active and I probably even eat better.

Over the years, I’ve learned to be a beach person in all seasons. Particularly in the last couple of years as I have been practicing cold water therapy.  You know, of the Wim Hoff kind!  So every morning its off to the beach I go for a dip in the sea.

Of course, you don't have to swim!  There is still so much to see and do ... or actually not do if it pleases you. Winter is still the perfect time to create those carefree memories of old.  

Posted by Donna Brooke on April 07, 2021