Now that the summer has come to an end and many families are back to the routine of school and work, this time of transition can be difficult for everyone, especially as many are returning to a very unfamiliar environment. With lots of new protocols in place in schools, added to the fact that children have been out of school for six months, it is more important now than ever to nurture ourselves, to spend time together outdoors, reaping the calming benefits of being in nature.
For those of us lucky enough to live close to the seaside, September is a lovely month to spend time there. The waters are warm from the summer’s heat, yet the beaches tend to be less busy than during the height of summer, with plenty of space to explore and to lose ourselves in the vast openness, allowing us to quieten our senses.
A simple activity that I love to do at the beach, both alone and in the company of my nieces and nephews, is to hunt for sea glass. I find my pace slows down and I really engage with all that is on the seashore as my eyes search out a glimmer of blue, green or white, always on the hunt for an unusual colour to add to my collection. I spent many hours this summer with my two faithful companions, Matthew (7) and Ada (5), searching, collecting and wondering, completely immersed in the moment, thinking of nothing other than the sand between our toes, the water lapping at our feet and the treasures that lay before us. We each left our seaside idyll in August with a trove of coloured gems, driftwood, seashells and stones, each a dear reminder of joyful days spent with the ones we love.
Back in Galway I continue to keep an eye to the ground as I walk the beaches on my own or with friends, ready to spot another treasure to add to my trove and keep my connection to nature alive and well.