I spent the weekend at a small writer’s conference that was held on the Washington State coast, near Longbeach. As you can see, the weather was beautiful – something we don’t take for granted here, especially in March.
Saturday’s schedule was packed so full that I had to content myself with the view from the conference center. But yesterday, before breakfast, a friend and I hiked down to the water to take it all in at closer range: the sea, the sand, the waves, the flat shoreline stretching for miles in both directions. The sun was out, and, with no wind to steal away its heat, the delicious warmth sank through my clothing and deep into my soul. Glorious!
I felt like I was reenacting Anne and Henrietta’s walk on the beach at Lyme, quoted here from Jane Austen’s Persuasion (chapter 12).
Anne and Henrietta, finding themselves the earliest of the party the next morning, agreed to stroll down to the sea before breakfast. They went to the sands, to watch the flowing of the tide, which a fine south-easterly breeze was bringing in with all the grandeur which so flat a shore admitted. They praised the morning; gloried in the sea; sympathized in the delight of the fresh-feeling breeze and were silent … (Persuasion, chapter 12)
Henrietta goes on to extol the beneficial effects of sea air, particularly for an ailing constitution. Whether it was the ocean air or the company of my fellow writers (both, I presume) the weekend by the sea did me a world of good.