Born to Love the Beach

“Tin-tin…Joanne!” Our grandmother shouts irritably at the end of the shore.

We run fast with our shirts dripping wet and lifted up to carry a number of seashells we have collected at the beach. My cousin Joanne and I go to the beach in the afternoon when its low tide to play and collect all kinds of seashells till sunset. We sit and stumble on a moist sand and we would giggle and laugh in excitement. Damp sand is forced between our toes. We wait until we see a bright ball starting to hide down like a red-orange lollipop on the distant horizon. Small waves crash against the shore while soothing gentle breeze rustles through our hair.

My grandmother’s house is in a small town in a coastal area where life is simple and people are all friendly. The house has been the usual getaway for me and my cousins during summer breaks. It’s a spacious house with sliding big capiz windows, shiny wooden floors and high ceilings. Electricity hasn’t reached the area so every night we would light the candle and start counting and grouping the seashells. One time I accidentally tapped the candle and it fell down on the shiny clean floor. The hot melting candle streamed all around and my lola became so mad at me and threatened she would spank me if I go to the beach again and bring home these shells.

Turned out I’d still go even if I know I’d get some scolding and spanking when I get home.

And today, after 20 years, whenever I go to the beach, I always find myself walking around looking for seashells.

I guess that’s how it is, we’re born to love the beach. It has been part of our lives that we would always go back there like sea turtles.

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