SPENCER: Benefits of beachcombing

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Some of you may remember the Canadian comedy-drama, The Beachcombers, that ran on CBC from 1972-1990. The Beachcombers followed the life of man in British Columbia who earned a living travelling and scavenging the beach coastline, northwest of Vancouver.

The water, the beach, the boats and the views were a part of this third longest running TV show in Canada. But what does “beachcombing” really mean? Well, the name is a bit misleading as there is no comb involved.

My partner’s kids had an unfortunate run-in with Covid-19. They didn’t get it thankfully, but were in contact with someone that tested positive. After a 14-day quarantine, their spirits were starved for nature and connection. (If you thought lockdown orders were tough, try being ordered to not leave your house at all for two weeks.)

Day one after their 14 days isolation completed, their dad picked them up and took them to the woods for hiking and biking. Their spirits longing for movement, exercise, digital detox and connection their dad and nature and the elements.   Day two, we headed out to do some beachcombing.

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“Pause as you come upon the beach, and listen to the symphony of waves and the chorus of birds, singing their song, as they glide in the wind.” – Joe Fazi.

Friends of ours told us about their favorite beach area near Long Point on Lake Erie. We packed drinks and headed out on our adventure. The wide-open space of the beach, lake and sky were just the remedy required.

We beachcombed for hours and hours and hours, forging and finding treasures of shells and beautifully shaped stones with varied colours, fossil imprints and glimmers. Some rocks we saved to take home and some we had stone-skipping contests. The giant trees and stumps of driftwood that came to shore, made the ideal playground equipment for climbing, hanging, swinging and playing.

Beach glass is always a fun find to discover. I love the symbolism of the glass pieces that were once sharp and jagged and now soft and smooth through a journey of transformation, reminding us to watch our spikes and edges as we more through the challenges of today.

“It was beautiful not despite but because of the friction it has had to endure. It had been thrashed around, but instead of being destroyed, it was improved with every scratch and scrape, sculpted. In fact, the scuffs themselves are what gave it its quiet splendor; they are responsible for turning a simple piece of glass (which could have just as easily been trash) into a gem.” – Wendy Blackburn, Beachglass.

The vast healing benefits of the beach and its healing energy, reveal the answers for that which we seek, showing us the comfort of natural beauty in the soft crash of waves, the sparkling grains of sand, the adventure and treasures found, as well as the mindful appreciation of challenge, through glorious contrast.

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