The Beach // Beauty and Simplicity

Last week our family enjoyed a much anticipated and relaxing week at the beach. This summer for a number reasons was more hectic than most. While we always look forward to vacations and holidays, this particular time away was one my wife and I (and the rest of our family) were especially excited about.

One thing my wife and I have discovered is that we both love the beach. Dragging chairs, umbrellas, snacks and towels to the ocean to sit and soak is something we both relish. The beach is our “happy place.” There are some families that love to go camping or make the trek to Disney or Harry Potter World or visit state parks or national monuments. We have done those things and may plan trips like that in the future, but, for us, the ideal place is the beach. Give us sand, sun and ocean and we are good.

As I stood on the beach one day, I was reminded of why we enjoy going there. Two words came to mind as I looked out at the ocean that morning.

The first word was beauty.

You see it quite often on social media feeds: pictures of sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, mountain views, lakefronts and much more. We are captivated by the beauty of creation. To sit on the beach or stand at the edge of the ocean and look out at the waves rolling in, you are struck by the beauty of what God spoke into existence. I was reminded of the beauty of what our Creator made.

The second word was simplicity.

The ocean is like an escape. You are not too concerned about your phone or social media feed (unless you are capturing pics of the kids playing in the surf or the sand). Other than the beach necessities (towels, chairs, some snacks, sunscreen, sand tools and a good book), there’s not much else needed for the day. There’s swimming, sitting or even sleeping in the sun, searching for sea shells, sand castle building, reading your book or just taking a walk along the shore line. Simple really. The beach is less about doing and more about just being.

Beauty.

Simplicity.

Just a couple of reasons why we enjoy going to the beach.

Summer Vacation Reading

While on vacation, I got a chance to catch up on reading some books that have been sitting on the shelf for a while.  Some people like to be on the go when on vacation, visiting different places and seeing the sites.  My wife and I enjoyed sitting on the beach, reading and then, occasionally, changing scenery by moving to the pool.

The first book I read was The Hobbit by Tolkien.  I have to admit I’ve only read the first two books of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (but I’ve seen all the movies!).  I knew a movie based on The Hobbit was coming out soon so that gave some motivation to get it read.  I enjoyed it, but was a little taken back by how much trouble one hobbit could get in.

I’m still amazed at Tolkien’s writing and the creativity he employed to create such a story line with so many different characters.
 


The next two books were from John Grisham’s Theodore Boone series.  I had read the first one several months ago, but hadn’t opened the two books that followed.  While they are geared more for teen readers, they fit very well into Grisham’s style of writing.  They were an easy read and were both great stories.  Kind of reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown books from back in the day.  I am a big Grisham fan so pretty much read about anything he produces.  The second book is Theodore Boone: The Abduction and the third book in the series (so far) is Theodore Boone:  The Accused.  The third book picks up the storyline from the first book, but then kind of goes in a different direction from what you initially think.



The final book I started, but didn’t get finished on the beach, was Michael Connelly’s The Brass Verdict.  He writes in a style similar to Grisham. I’ve only read two previous Connelly books, but enjoyed them.  This one followed up the book that was made into a movie, The Lincoln Lawyer.  I was able to finish up the book once I got home and now want to continue in the series.  I like his writing.