by Allison Smith

“I am NOT a beach girl,” my daughter said firmly as we stepped foot on the sandy shores of Miracle Beach during a recent camping trip. “Well it’s time to get over it kid,” I responded. “You’ve been born into a beach family.”

Her feelings on the subject were nothing new. This marked our fourth trip to this campground. The first year we went, Tessa spent most of our day at the beach trying to keep her feet out of the sand and screaming when a crab scuttled too close. Then came the sneaky, speedy incoming tide which, as Miracle Beach rookies, we didn’t know about. One minute we were lounging in our beach chairs with the ocean’s edge in the distance; the next there was water lapping around our flip flops. In a mad scramble we gathered everything we could, hightailing it for higher ground. A wide stretch of fast-moving incoming tide stood between us and dry land. We plunged in, up to our knees, trying desperately to keep towels from trailing into the water and performing balancing acts with uncollapsed beach chairs. While we laughed and gamely sloshed along, my then-two-year-old shrieked and cried, trying to climb me like a monkey to escape the pieces of seaweed that surfed the current. So yes … I’m well aware that she’s NOT a beach girl.

But this year, sometime between her first-day declaration and the day we packed up to head home, something changed. Tessa and her cousins played on the beach for hours, collecting crabs and building elaborate sand structures to “survive the tide.” As my daughter and I stood at the water’s edge that final day, already having moved our things up beyond the tideline so we could have just a few more blissful minutes on the shore, she looked up at me, holding my hand, and said: “I guess I am a beach girl after all.”

As the summer winds down and beach days with it, we’re lucky to live where we do. On the Saanich Peninsula, I think we’re all “beach people.” After all, we live on a slice of land that’s surrounded by water on three sides. Almost anywhere you go, you can smell the ocean air. Its negative ions are proven to balance serotonin levels – improving mood and lessening stress – so there could be no better place to be during this time. So take a few minutes to breathe deeply, enjoy these last warm days at the beach, and as always, be thankful for where we live.

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