The first time at the Beach…for these children

I’m back at my favourite writing spot…outside the apartment, on the stairs, staring at the beautiful scenery in front of me.

Watching the sunset has got to be my favourite here. The colours that paint the sky never seems to be the same each day. God’s creation, this sunset, is beautiful. I wonder how many times people would drop whatever they’re consumed doing and gaze at the sunset. We just take it for granted.. little things like sunrise and sunset.

It’s the same for most things I guess. We take so many things that we have for granted that sometimes I don’t think we fully appreciate what we have… It doesn’t have to be about expensive things. Even simple things like the sunset, the beach, the stars… we have taken these for granted so much so that we barely even pay real attention to them anymore.

Today we took the children to the beach. You would think that they would’ve gone completely bonkers and ran to the water, right? Well, some did. And some, were scared.

Why you may ask? Aren’t there beaches in Cape Town? Well, there are.. and beautiful ones I must say.. the ones that make you want to sit down on the warm sand forever and just simply gaze at the blue sky and the clear water. But these children had never seen the beach before so the fear of water is but natural. See now you know what I mean when I said that we take the beach for granted. Have you ever wondered how it would feel like if you had never seen the beach before in your life? Can you even imagine your life without seeing it?

The children were so happy though. To be out in the open, close to nature. Nature does wonderful things..miracles..it broke the chain of routine for these children.

The beach. Blue sky. Clear water. Freedom.

I sat next to this young boy (I don’t know his name as he was one of the children from the adjoining nursery to the orphanage) and he was so scared of the water. I wish I could just play out the entire interaction I had with him for you. I tried to overcome his fear of the beach by playing a little game..holding his hand…just so he could dip his feet in the water. He was still scared though so I did not want to push him. After all, I am very familiar of the fear of water. I had the same as a child and I know how daunting it feels when an adult pushes you when you are not ready at all. You need some time to make “friends” with the water.

So I ended up sitting next to him. Nearby me there were quite a few seashells of different colours. I asked the boy if he knew what they were. He shook his head. And that’s when I taught him about seashells, the colours, the texture and he smiled.

I’ve begun to realise this..the more time I spend with these children, the more my heart begins to sing. And even more when I teach them something new. I love it!

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” - Anonymous

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