“Beside the seaside, beside the sea”

There’s something about an  upcoming summer solstice that always seems significant to me, even though I’m past the stage of trampling dewy grasses or  indulging in a spot of nuddy-dancing widdershins. Sadly, though – even if it isn’t actually raining – I bet that given the chance, most grown-ups choose to greet the roseate dawn of midsummer with a cup of tea and a faintly bored yawn.

As a child, I would wake with the early light, and lie in bed listening to the sounds of dawn just outside my bedroom window. The soft cooing of turtle doves in the tall fir trees, and the gradual spread of sunlight through the crack in the curtains suggested the best of days to come. Back then, I squandered my riches. I thought that life would hold so many future days like those: that each numbered summer ahead would promise endless freedoms and countless games of ‘It’.

And of course it does, and they do. Except that I have to remember how to ignore the rainclouds and celebrate each glorious day for its perfect impermanence. Sometimes that means stealing time back for some homespun magic.

So today I remembered that the most important reason for having a child at school near a beach is that it would provide an excuse for recalling that rarest of moments – the fun of a child’s midsummer play.

And so we escaped. Crammed into two precious hours after school, we captured an afternoon beside the seaside. The girls played on the helter skelter

Helter skelter

giggled over ice cream, counted beach huts

and played ‘It’ with clumps of salt-tangled seaweed.

Four voices shrieked as  the swing boats went ever higher…

and then we dug fifty toes into the sand

and left our summer mermaid for the sea to claim tonight.

“Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run”


About aga sagas

Married to His Nibs for a long time now. A sense of humour helps.
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2 Responses to “Beside the seaside, beside the sea”

  1. Such a lovely beach to have some stolen moments on too.
    My Mother was a delightfully eccentric woman. She owned and managed an antique shop in Honiton in Devon. Sometimes, on the spur of the moment, she would shut the shop, pop a sign on the door saying “gone paddling” and head off to Lyme Regis to buy an ice cream and paddle in the sea. And maybe enjoy some time with the paper and a deck chair. As a teenager, I found such behaviour irresponsible and used to disparage her in the way only a daughter can their Mother, so disapprovingly. But then she died, suddenly, when she was only 56. My sisters and I are glad she took the time to paddle, while she had the time. We all do it too. So I particularly enjoyed this post because it made me think of something I had forgotten about her but realise we all carry with us. Thank you.

  2. aga sagas says:

    That’s exactly it x

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