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The Beach of My Memory

Mary is an organizational development specialist and writes about today's challenges.

Beaches Offer A Vast Expanse of Freedom

Concepcion Beach

Concepcion Beach

A Special Place on the Beach

Our family is lucky to have a place on the beach. It is a center of family activities and thus, memories. And even if you don't own such a place, you can still build the same family engagement and memories if you go for a rental place or even a hotel resort with a beach nearby and enjoy it.

But who says you always have to own a place to have beach fun? Sometimes, owning a beach property is a headache and balancing the headache quotient with the recreational value is difficult. Our beach place burned down recently but even without the high drama of fire, constant maintenance and worry is part of the price of the fantastic family memories we have.

Beaches Evoke Memories - Not just personal but communal


A Child's Fun in the Beach

As a child, I always loved to go to the beach. There were several of them close to us and each time we had a special occasion, we headed to the sand and water to celebrate. Our families, with Aunties and cousins and all the paraphernalia of Asian families and all the great cumbersome things we had to take found the beach to be a perfect place for different generations to find their own corner and own activities.

The kids all hit the water in howls of happiness and then made sand castles or just lay on the beach and soaking Z's and communing with Dr. Sun. One of the things we enjoyed most was building a fire and cooking fresh fish and seafood bought from the fishermen on the beach who had just arrived from a long night of net swinging or trolling. I can still remember the cindered smell of fresh fish on the fire and the taste of the fresh ocean. It was my dream of freedom then when adults were enjoying themselves, we were left free to have our own games.

The Beach I Love - Memory I will Treasure

Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines

Concepcion, Iloilo, Philippines

Join in thinking out

When you go to beaches where communities live, it is not unusual to find a man or a woman seated in one of the coconut trunks or a rock looking out to the sea or combing the beach. They are enveloped in their thoughts and you can see their eyes are staring far into the horizon oblivious even of your coming.

I often wonder what they think about. I would give much to enter the stream of their memories. But I think that is intrusive. One can really just share this from a distance.

Beaches and Memories - What Beaches Evoke in Us

If not the beach, what?


What is your favourite holiday place?

We all have different places that we treasure for holidays. Some like the lake, others, the mountains. Others love to go to cities. What's yours?

Beautiful Beaches for your Holiday

What Beaches Offer

The beach offered a vast expanse of walking space and as long as one was within the seeing distance of the older folks, kids were free to roam. When we got older, this became a favourite past time, walking with friends and having a really good time sharing. Somehow, the beach encouraged this and even enhanced the togetherness.

We often went home from these ocean escapades red and burnt. We were not aware of the ill effects of the sun then. We just went all out for the sun, not totally unaware of the sunburn to come, but that was easily set aside much as the expected hangover today after a great party.

A Life Beyond the Day to Day Plod

Philippines beach

Philippines beach

A Whiff of Adventure

As a child, the boats I saw gave a whiff of adventure and of a life beyond the day to day plod that is so well known. Nothing fired my imagination more than seeing these small boats head off with the mystery of whether they would return or just keep sailing for ever. A child's imagination is fantastical and the memory of it brings a warm smile.

Building sand castles, perhaps?

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Beaches offer all kinds of fun for all ages but this does not mean everyone like to go there. Do you?

Enjoy the beach with your kids

For kids, the beach is a big playground. It offers many possibilities and toys can often enhance this experience. None of those expensive toys. Get those durable ones they can throw around.

Get them mask combo - Start them snorkeling

Yes, the under water world is full of magic for kids. They will surely enjoy snorkeling.

The Beach on the Lake

For my family in Canada, the beach would be in the cottage. We rake this everyday and it gleams in the sun. The fresh water is wonderful and crisp and though I love it, the beach of my memories is still at the ocean. Nothing beats the smell of the sea air and the sound of the waves as it washes your feet with shells and sunshine. It brings whispers from over the horizon and made me feel closer to other lands.

A Recent Special Memory

Beach in Canada

Beach in Canada

Top Safety Tips for the beach - Especially with kids

While the beach offered us so much fun, it also made us cautious because of some experiences that luckily we survived. The current can be tricky. Sometimes, in some places, the beach gets deep immediately and if you don't know, you're in for trouble.

Safety tips for the beach

  1. Learn how to swim well and keep improving your skills.
  2. Observe all posted signs and flags on the beach.
  3. Swim where there is a lifeguard or an adult swimmer in the family watching.
  4. Learn how to get out of rip currents.
  5. Do not swim alone and with your back at the ocean.
  6. Be careful of broken glass and other trash on the beach.
  7. Don't dive head first. This can lead to head and neck injuries.
  8. Apply sun block and protect yourself from intense sun.

Not the same as the beach of our memory

Beach in Italy

Beach in Italy

Beaches in other countries

I have been to beaches in many other countries but the beach of my childhood is locked into my mind and will always be a central part in my life. No other beaches can compare with it.

I remember the first time my friends and I landed on Nice. We were a group and we were looking forward to seeing this most talked about beach. We arrived there and looked around. No one said anything but slowly, the drift to the tour bus clearly showed that this was not like the one we have grown up in. No, we can't look for treasures here, not snatch in amazement one of those gifts the waves brought right to our little feet. No dancing around proudly to show what the world has offered us.

The bus was quiet. Each one was lost in the memory of the beaches they treasured from their youth. We were all lucky to be raised in a country of 7100 islands. Beaches everywhere. Small worlds of memory for each of us.

Polished to a Sparkle

Sunrise in Concepcion

Sunrise in Concepcion

Treasures from the beach of my memory

I often think of those days and it tugs my heart. I think of the friends I had whom I have not seen for years. Some of the people who are there on the beach of my memory are no longer with us but they live in my recollections and the laughter and the music and joy of being together are still clear and alive.

My buddies of yesteryears, older now, still go to our beach place. I hear about the fun they had and see their pictures on Facebook and for a moment, I wish I were there, but life moves on. Still, year after year, my memory polishes these treasures from the past and they sparkle with the same energy of that little girl who still lives in my mind, brought to the beach.

What about a pair of really spiffy sunglasses? - Your eyes need protection, too

Here's a pair of sunglasses that gives your eyes ample protection. Shield sunglasses in dark tortoise, this is just what your eyes need. It's also trendy and fashionable.

Like the design? Get one for yourself now and protect your eyes and enhance your look on the beach. Who doesn't want to look good on the beach?

© 2013 Mary Norton

Do you have your own special special memory? - Do share with us

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 30, 2019:

Thank you Tim. Yes, we have beautiful beaches in the Philippines and in many other places I have visited and I hope we continue to take care of it so the next generation can go one making memories. Thank you for being so supportive.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on May 17, 2019:

Hi, Mary, I had to read this article. Thank you for making me smile although I am saddened for your loss. We have a beach property, on one of the least visited beaches in our state. The memories we have made there as adults - watching the sun rise, observing the boats coming and leaving, talking to people - are irreplaceable. I imagine the beaches in the Philippines are even more spectacular. Thank you for taking us on a visit to your past and giving us wonderful information about enjoying the glory of beaches. To a talented writer:

Respect and admiration,


Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 11, 2018:

I love the way you describe your tiny beach. It's iconic whatever beach it maybe especially to a child.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 10, 2018:

O yes...there is something so special about finding myself on a beautiful beach even like the tiny one I knew as a child in a tiny town in Virginia. Hearing the waves lap on the shore and the gulls chatting overhead and all around made my day and still does. The photos are stunning...the water is gorgeous. thank you for sharing. Angels are headed your way ps

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 05, 2018:

Thank you Li-Jen. Hope you are doing well in your new path but it is good to see you here still visiting.

Li-Jen Hew on May 05, 2018:

Hi Mary. Thank you for sharing your memories of the beach. Yeah, it's nice to know a beach you have grown up with.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 12, 2018:

Thanks Virginia. The rolling prairie is just as beautiful especial in the eyes of a child.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on January 12, 2018:

I really enjoyed your memories and descriptions of childhood time at the beach. Having grown up in landlocked Kansas, it's the rolling prairie and the big sky that are my treasured memories. Puttering in the creek and wandering across the grasslands was something we could do on a daily basis since I grew up in the country.

Beaches are interesting places but my tender Irish skin can't take a full day in the sun.

Arai from India on November 17, 2016:

really informative and excellent descriptions.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 17, 2016:

Hi Rachel. I think all of us do have some beach experience that we treasure. Last week, we were in Siesta Key which is the beach my husband treasure much. Wherever it is, it lives on in our memory.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on February 15, 2016:

Hi Mary, I remember going to the beaches in New Jersey as a teenager with my sister and her family and my mother, father and brother. I loved it. We rented a house right near the beach and I loved falling asleep listening to the sound of the waves coming and going. The pictures of the Philippine beaches are exquisite. The white sand next to the light turquoise water is breadth taking. Thank for sharing.

Blessings to you.

monia ben saad from In my Dream on May 08, 2015:

Just reading and seeing pictures is a matter of convenience ... beautiful to be human in a place like this where the tranquility and beauty of nature and away from the noise of the cities .. I always like going to the beach and always these days I hope to come back again .. Thank you for your topic wonderful.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 09, 2015:

Yes, beaches do inspire. My husband and I were in Siesta Key in January and the early morning walks on the beach touched my love for nature's beauty.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 09, 2015:

Thank you Peggy. I am sure that our grandchildren think the same way of our cottage on the lake as they come each year without fail.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 09, 2015:

Thank you Nell. I also love rivers. They make me meditate.

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on March 09, 2015:

The beach offered me many beautiful vistas as a young person. Whether the vista was from Washington, Oregon , or Hawaii it is all a beautiful memory ongoing. I think it inspired the artist in me too!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 09, 2015:

When I was a child in Wisconsin we swam at the lake where my grandmother lived. After moving to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Padre Island became the beach most often visited. Now I have seen beaches from many places around the world but the lake memories are the fondest. I loved your words " my memory polishes these treasures from the past and they sparkle..." Lovely!

Nell Rose from England on March 09, 2015:

Aw sigh! lol! did you hear that sigh? I just want to be on a sunny beach now, I live inland and have a river but its not the same, you are so lucky to have lived in such a beautiful place! gonna sigh again I think! lol! great hub, voted up and shared! nell

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 07, 2015:

That would be interesting especially with ships docked there. Thanks for the visit and treasure your memories.

Peter from Australia on March 07, 2015:

Your story and images brings back many memories of my childhood!!!

I grew up within walking distance of the beach and made it a habit to walk along the beach to and from school! Weather permitting of course :)

I also remember the moaning of the foghounds of the ships that were anchored waiting to be called into the docks!

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 18, 2015:

Enjoy your beach. Our beach has really been destroyed by the typhoon so we have not been there for some time.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 17, 2015:

Very nice hub aesta1. I love the beach and used to spend a lot of my childhood and teenage years there when I lived closer. Now it is a three hour drive each way to the nearest beach so I go there much less often. I loved your beautiful photos as well. I understand how you miss the beaches of your childhood. My favourite beach in Australia is "Alexandria Bay" at the end of Noosa Heads National Park on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. I spent most of my time there or at Bribie Island. Voted up.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 15, 2014:

Jackie, our memory has a way of making it heaven. An author once said, it isn't perfect but it is perfectly so.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 15, 2014:

Sounds like heaven; thanks for sharing!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 22, 2014:

I love the beach, it has a charm of it's own!Great article, enjoyed reading.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on October 08, 2014:

I do have some very precious memories of times I have spent at the beach.

One not so good, when one of my daughter got washed away from us in a rip, one day I will never forget, thank good we managed to save her.

Anna from chichester on July 21, 2014:

I have to say, as kids we were always down the local beach and nowadays it is one of my favourite places to be. All my big life experiences happened there... My fiancé proposed at the beach where we both grew up and I have so many wonderful memories if friends and family there. Your lens made me smile so thank you :)

Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on June 02, 2014:

I was lucky enough to visit Airlie Beach in Australia. Also some other Australian beaches. But I love rural holidays, lakes and mountains as well. So many beautiful places to visit, so little time.

KonaGirl from New York on May 01, 2013:

Absolutely. For me the beaches in Hawaii. Surfing - snorkeling - fishing all bring back wonderful memories.

GreenMind Guides from USA on April 29, 2013:

Yes -- a beach in Costa Rica. Magical!

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on April 25, 2013:

One of my first memories is on a beach in North Carolina on a family vacation. I remember wanting to take a crab home as a pet and my parents wouldn't let me touch him:)

Fay Favored from USA on April 23, 2013:

Lots of memories of South Jersey beaches. We spent a lot of time there in the summer. I love how you share your stories of places to visit with the wonderful photos. You take us on little mini vacations.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on April 21, 2013:

I'm ready for a beach holiday after seeing these lovely photos. We always had this type of holiday when the kids were small and still try to get to a beach with them still. I think that all beaches evoke memories.

WriterJanis2 on April 21, 2013:

I love going to the beach with my kids. We always have so much fun.

lesliesinclair on April 18, 2013:

Yes, I grew up so close to our town beach, and spent much time there.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on April 17, 2013:

Thank you for sharing memories that are special to you! Let's add a SquidAngel blessing! ;-)

miaponzo on April 17, 2013:

I do... although I live near many beaches now in Kuwait, none of them provoke memories for me.. but the beaches of my childhood in upstate NY are where I had the most fun!!!

DebMartin on April 14, 2013:

I'm so looking forward to visiting the beach again once we get through this chilly Spring. I have many, many memories of my beaches on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Thanks. d

mcspocky lm on April 11, 2013:

I love beaches, and my favorite beach memories are from when I was working in Waikiki. :D

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on April 09, 2013:

I do love the beach and our family has certainly enjoyed many wonderful beach vacations!

Takkhis on April 07, 2013:

I like swimming in the ocean also like spending time staring far things from the beach :)

VspaBotanicals on April 04, 2013:

This lens was like a mini vacation for me. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful memory.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

@choosehappy: Memories, that's all we'll have to treasure.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

@KimGiancaterino: Hope you get a relaxing day full of sunshine.

KimGiancaterino on April 02, 2013:

These beautiful images remind me that I'm overdue for a trip to the beach! Happily, we live within an hour of several good ones.

Vikki from US on March 30, 2013:

Every year brings new and wonderful memories. Always fun; always a treat to spend that time with my family.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 29, 2013:

@anonymous: I love doing this with my sisters, remembering some of the funny stories and even the not so funny ones.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 29, 2013:

@fifta: We used to go there often for my mother in law. Siesta Key is where she was.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 29, 2013:

@Vikk Simmons: I have only seen the beaches of Spain but not really waded on them. Maybe one day.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 29, 2013:

@sprevendido25: I do love doing this.

sprevendido25 on March 29, 2013:

I always enjoy island hopping, swimming from one seashore to another.

Vikk Simmons from Houston on March 28, 2013:

Enjoyed reading your page of beach memories. My early memories of beaches were of Atlantic City and of Spain.

fifta on March 27, 2013:

My recent trip to beaches was to Florida. Back then as a teenager, I am more to mountain person eventhough I was born in a beach town. But I was surprised that my son loves beach soo much. He didn't even want to leave the beach. So fun for playing!

anonymous on March 23, 2013:

A few years ago I went to Woodenfrog and walked through the park with my Mom and sister and it seems we had camped at most of the camp sites at one time as a family and had special memories linked to each one, we were all surprised at what a delight we had walking around and remembering things that hadn't been thought about for years. I think the smell brought even more memories and of course the beach was our favorite and still is. Sweetness! :)

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on March 22, 2013:

This is very warm and heartfelt. Lucky you to have such beautiful memories.

Blackspaniel1 on March 21, 2013:

Nice photos

Camden1 on March 21, 2013:

My family has vacationed a lot on beaches in the Florida Panhandle. And you're right, no beach compares to the beach of my childhood!

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