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The sun, the sand, the waves — all combine to pull us to the coastline several times a year. The beautiful combination of nature’s amenities calls us with a magnetism that cannot be ignored.

Luckily, my husband and I feel the same way, so there are no disagreements when planning these soothing retreats. We have visited beaches up and down the East Coast, but we always return to a section of shore in South Carolina. The beach is wide during low tide, crowds are moderate, and there is enough to do but not too much.

We discovered this section of the coastline in 1985 with a recommendation from a friend. We have missed very few years since then. After retirement several years ago, we can come more often, which translates to about three times a year — we even added an after Christmas visit two years ago that we’ll likely continue for many years.

What is it that draws us to this majestic body of water? Not really sure, but we always feel better after a visit, no matter how long we are there.

Could it be the lack of structure with no duties to perform?

Could it be the sound of the waves lulling us to sleep as we doze on the beach?

Could it be the amazing views that calm the soul?

Whatever it is, we thoroughly enjoy it and come home soothed.

I sometimes wonder it if is innate — my family, on both sides, came from the southernmost shore of Italy (my mother called it the toe of the boot), surrounded by a variety of seas.

The views there are also amazing with the water making up the backdrop for everything in the area — there was no escaping the glistening seas on all sides. My mother’s family lived on the top of a mountain, but the drive down revealed the soothing waters of the beautiful Mediterranean.

My husband traces his heritage to colder climates with an abundance of water. The beautiful freshwater lochs of Scotland are soothing and beautiful to behold. There are more than 31,000 of these sparkling jewels in the country.

This could be the reason for our unwavering attraction to sand and sea.

Sometimes, we wish we lived nearer the beach, but then maybe it wouldn’t be so special. For now, we will have to settle for periodic trips that renew and refresh.

Of course, our children and grandchildren have the same love for the beach as we have, since we have made annual excursions to the coast for more than 40 years.  It has been wonderful to watch them grow and learn and become beach bums like the rest of the family.

Naturalist, author, and environmental philosopher John Muir is famously quoted as saying “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

While we grew up in the mountains, we would have to paraphrase the quote, “The beach is calling and we must go.

Frances Lowe

Frances Lowe is a retired journalist and educator, most recently serving as lifestyles editor at a local newspaper.

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