I've written about it before, but there is one little beach that I think is the very best. Living in Nova Scotia, there is a wonderfully ridiculous number of beaches within easy driving distance, but this one has my heart. There are a couple of more popular beaches, like Port Maitland, and Mavillette, which are long, sandy, gorgeous places, but my favourites are the quiet ones which you're almost guaranteed to have to yourself.
I grew up at the top of the hill, just a few hundred metres from this little spot. We always called the entirety of the little area at the bottom of the hill 'the shore'; the term loosely includes the buildings, the wharf, the beaches, the drawbridge, and the 'shore pond'. If Dad was 'at the shore' in the summer, it meant that he was repairing pots or rope, freezing bait, or some other task related to his work running a lobster boat, and I loved helping him whenever I could. One of my preferred jobs was holding the freezer bags for bait open while the slimy, not-super-fresh bait was slopped by dip net out of a large grey plastic box on the back of the truck and flipped over into the bag, which rested in a shallow cardboard box. I folded the edges of the bags in, fitted the cardboard lid on snugly, and the box was whisked off into the freezer to be ready for use in the winter. This resulted in being generously splattered with fish scales and smelly fish juice, and I loved it. It was real work, a tangible job that needed to be done, and I felt helpful and useful (whether I actually was or not).
My Dad still fishes from the wharf, and it has changed a lot since I was a kid. But the smells are the same - bait and hot sand, mud flats and the ever-changing sea smell in the air, fuel and seaweed.
I spent hours and days on the beach, collecting shells and sea glass, lying on the hot rocks, wading in tide pools, and looking for fossils in the giant shale ledges. It has my heart.
These days, I most often stop at the closest little part of the beach with the boys for a little while before we visit my parents. They're both completely happily occupied for a long time, and Thomas always wants to stay longer. It's calming and quiet for me, and I love soaking in the particulars of the day - the shades of blue in the water, the types of shells that have washed up, and what the light is doing as it moves through the water. And if there's fog or mist, that's the very best.
These pictures were from yesterday, when we visited the beach before heading to my parents' for showers, since the formerly almost-empty well was down to the very last bit of water. I'm happy to report that we just had it filled for a very reasonable price, and we have some very dear guests coming to visit for a few days this week. It's been far too long since we've seen them, and I'm looking forward to catching up with them and making the most of this last full week of summer.