By The Water

2011 August 2011 Suzanne A. Marshall

By Suzanne A. Marshall from the August 2011 Edition

I’ve always thought that my long ‘love affair’ with being by the ocean in a tropical climate was attributable to the fact that I am Canadian and was born in the middle of the vast rolling prairies. Yes, the winters are very harsh but there is also a wild vast beauty which leads to the Rocky Mountains and many beautiful valleys, rivers, streams and fresh water lakes which I love and cherish. It’s stunningly beautiful in a different way. Still, the older I got the more I continued to dream of one day retiring by the seaside, never really believing that it was more than a ‘pipe dream’. What is it about the seas that lure so many people round the world to their shorelines?

Through a little searching on the internet, I’ve learned that roughly half the worlds’ population lives within a few kilometres of the oceans. Of course there are all the industries tied to fishing, shipping and tourism that invites working families and builds seaside communities all around the continents. People born to Island nations and seaside cities might give no thought about their proximity to these tidal waters. It’s part of their environment, not necessarily taken for granted but accepted as the norm. But speak to someone who has been away from it for a length of time, and they yearn to return, they are missing the seaside.


On many sunset walks down the long sandy beach here in Manzanillo, I have reflected on these thoughts. On any given evening, I see many local young lovers holding hands and watching the sun go down. There is one popular stretch of beach where there is a concrete sea wall that once bordered a hotel and is now a vacant lot. The wall is actually worn smooth by the continuous use of couples sitting there and taking in the romance of the bay. There are many dazzling sunsets here breaking under the dramatic cloud banks that gather over the sea at night. As the sun sets, the lights of homes and hotels situated in the hills over-looking the bay come on and the silhouettes of several large ships at anchor make the view even more intriguing. Is it the ultimate romantic spot? You bet! But it’s still so much more than that.

For me, there is an undeniable magnetic force of power about the ocean. The crashing waves and the retreating surf are irresistible. The cooling breeze is fresh and moist. Here there is serenity and a sense of the vastness of the universe. I am not a religious person but I would describe the feeling as spiritual, soul soothing and peaceful. Here, your troubles and the stresses of life melt away for a while and life is absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend a walk on the beach by the ocean as a regular physical and mental therapy. Share it with someone really special!


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