whim: an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

lovely day in brighton

"Well, mamma," said she, when they were all returned to the breakfast-room, "and what do you think of my husband? Is he not a charming man? I am sure my sisters must all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck. They must all go to Brighton. That is the place to get husbands."

"I thank you for my share of the favour," said Elizabeth; "but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands."
 (Pride and Prejudice)

I don't particularly like Lydia's way of getting husbands either, but I DID want to go to Brighton. So when Kirsteen and Lars offered to drive Ari and I to Brighton on Sunday afternoon, we eagerly accepted. Brighton is a short drive from Haywards Heath, so we piled into their car and headed off. 

There is at least one thing I must say about the beach: it tends to bring out the child in all of us. At least this was the case for Ari and I {even for Lars and Kirsteen, if you ask me}. Let me 'splain. The moment we landed on the beach, Ari was off like a rocket, heading straight to the waves to play in the frigid water.  Ari had warned us that the beach turned her into a little girl, and I saw this to be true. (Keep reading if you want to learn about my own childhood flashback.) She laughed merrily as she played in the waves, simultaneously laughing and gasping at the cold water. 

At this point, you should know that the beach at Brighton is not a sandy beach, but a pebble beach, which makes it more-than-slightly uncomfortable to skip around on the beach without shoes on. Burying your feet in pebbles is just not the same as burying your feet in the sand. We, however, still took off our shoes and played in the water as best we could. I lasted about one minute in the water before I froze (it was, thankfully, a sunny day, but still chilly and windy); I didn't have the same fortitude as Ari in confronting the cold water. After walking around on the Brighton Pier, the four of us settled onto the beach. This is where I turned into a little child myself. You see, I've been a rock and seashell collector all of my life. At certain points in my life, I have to pare down on my rock collection, as it is impossibly hard to sustain while moving around as much as I do. I have early childhood memories of rifling through rocks to find my favorite one; seashells are the same. I don't live anywhere near a beach, so when I can get my hands on a seashell, I'm a happy girl. So the moment I sat down, I began scouring the immediate vicinity for shells and cool rocks. Kirsteen and Lars soon picked up on my search, and began handing me shells they picked up. I tried to only take my favorites, but as you'll see from my picture below, I didn't succeed at narrowing my favorites down very well. As we were sitting, Lars began piling rocks on Kirsteen's outstretched legs, saying something about his having children while still being a child himself. We decided that when being a parent, one really must be a child at heart. (I'm not a parent, but Lars and Kirsteen will soon be!) 

When I think of being young at heart, I think of never being too old to take joy in running along the beach, or examining rocks and seashells closely enough to see the grooves and shades and pockmarks, or generally being able to look for the sublime in a small moment, or a small object, or a small thought. I see some people who never grow out of that, even through jobs and parenting and all the other "grown up" things we do, and I want to be one of those people always. Just a thought.

Here are some photos from our Brighton excursion. There are also a few from the drive home (South Downs, Jack and Jill windmills). 


I told Ari she looked like a movie star in this picture, and I don't know if she believed me. Don't you agree? 

Ari and I on Brighton's pebble beach

Ari and I with Lars and Kirsteen. I love these people!

Lars and Kirsteen

Brighton from the Pier

It's my collection! (look at this stuff, isn't it neat?)

Trying not to freeze atop South Downs hill 

Not a great picture, but the road reminded me of walking through a Middle Earthean forest 

Jack (or Jill) windmill