Imagine your ideal sandy shore.
You may be lucky and be there at the moment.
You may be on a perfectly nice beach but not one you’d quite describe as perfect.
Or you may be at work or at home with a few moments to dream.
Either way, I’m now going to ask you some questions and see what comes into your mind. Don’t read ahead or it doesn’t work.
So what time of day is it? Where’s the sun in the sky, assuming it’s out? Or is it night time?
How long have you been there? Do you know? Do you care?
Where are you on the beach? Doing what? What are you wearing?
Are you on your own or with others? What are they doing?
Who else is on the beach? Is it busy or quiet?
What can you hear? And smell?
How do you feel? Describe your mood.
So how long is this beach? What shape is it? Is it sandy? If so, what colour’s the sand?
Look towards the sea. What colour is that? Is it calm or rough? Are there waves? Small ones lapping on the shore? Or bigger ones breaking further out?
Anyone in the sea? What are they doing? Swimming? Playing? Sitting on the water’s edge? Surfing? Kite surfing?
Look into the distance. What’s on the horizon? Anything? Are there boats? Yachts? Ships?
What about the sky? Is it clear blue? Or are there clouds? Rushing by or sitting still?
That’s a point. Is the air still or is there a gentle breeze? Or a wind? Or a gale? Maybe you’re inside looking out. Or maybe not.
So you decide it’s time for a swim, on your own or with others. You choose.
You walk to the sea and feel the water on your toes. What’s the temperature?
So how do you go in? A stroll or a dash? Do you go straight under the surface or stay above it? How does the water feel on your skin?
How far do you go out? What do you do? Walk? Swim? Snorkel? Surf?
At some point, you look back towards the shore. What can you see? What’s behind the beach? Cliffs? Hotels and restaurants? A beach café and bar? Beach huts? Houses? A party town? Palm trees? Nothing at all?
How do you feel now, standing looking back at land?
So how long do you stay in the sea? When it’s time to come out, what do you do? Stay awhile longer on the beach or head off?
When you do leave, how do you feel about leaving? When are you going to come back?
Now step back from your ‘story’. Does this beach actually exist? If so, where in the world is it? Have you ever been there?
Or maybe you imagined it. If that’s the case, where would it be, probably? Do you think you’ll ever go there?
And if this is your ideal beach, what does everything you’ve thought say about you and your deeper needs when it comes to being on holiday?
Answers on a postcard, please.