Recently, Philippe and I were chatting about the fact that we should really make an effort to visit a beach, our art challenge prompt for today, very soon. Though we have been to the cold Pacific Ocean twice in the last year, it would be lovely to visit a beach with warmer waters. The kind you can actually swim in rather than simply admire from the edge. I’ve no idea if we’ll actually go through the effort of truly planning a trip yet or simply continue to daydream about it. But spending any amount of time on the beach always makes me smile. What’s more, the sound of the ocean, the breeze, and the unique smells, are all so incredible that even in my daydream, it can feel like I’m actually back there. Once, while in Mexico, I spent the entire time body boarding, which was incredibly fun. A few years before that, I spent time snorkeling off the coast of an island near Puerto Rico. Sadly, this was all more than a decade ago now. I remember standing on those beaches making a silent wish to myself to return one day, but that day never actually came. Somewhere, there’s a beach chair out there still waiting for me.
There were other events that happened on those early trips that were a bit less fun. Being caught out in the sun too long and turning the color of a cooked lobster, for example. Or gliding over something that stings and leaves a rash while snorkeling. But anything less than amazing has been quickly washed over by the waves of the experience as a whole. It exists now as of bit of personal lore, enhanced each time I pause to remember it. At this point, the actual trip would have much to live up to and might pale in comparison to my imagined memories. But, it’s certainly a risk I’m willing to take and I’ll definitely be pushing Philippe to plan that trip with me soon. Life can often get in the way of dreams, so it’s up to us to push through to the other side. If something amazing needs to be enjoyed for the first time or indeed revisited, I think it’s worth making an extra effort to make it happen.
So, yes, we’ll find our way back to a warm beach and jump into that impossibly blue water one day. Creating new memories to even surpass the previous ones as they grow and morph over time. That’s the wonderful thing about memories. They always get better with age, like a fine wine. Facts begin to slide to the corners and are replaced by truths that exist only in our imaginations and our hearts. The result is actually the truest version of the experience. Something so ephemeral and incredible, drenched in so much feeling it can scarcely be put into words. And each time I think about those moments, my heart warms in a way that always makes me smile. There are so many things I must do each day. I have have so many obligations that it feels like I might actually lose track of them all. But, nothing is ever so important or pressing that it should interrupt a moment to dream. I, for one, will now be drifting off in a blissful memory of times gone by. A glint of bright sun, a scent of the ocean, and a crashing wave of memories of those amazing times I enjoyed a day at the beach.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta Cobalt Blue (my Da Vinci Trio, Click Here to Learn More!) + Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!