The magic of the sea
Updated: Sep 11, 2021
A trip to the beach is the perfect day out for the family. It provides free entertainment for children - all you need is a bucket and spade, and perhaps an ice cream or two and you can easily while away the hours. Just be careful when near the water that children are supervised at all times.
I am drawn to the water. I really fell in love with it when I started paddleboarding. I would check tide times and weather every day, hoping for a perfect window when I wasn't at work and the tides and wind were with me.
Gliding along on the top of the water became my sanctuary and peaceful time.
Being near water is associated with wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to the charged healthy negative ions of sea air. All of this leads to feelings of happiness. This blue space makes you very present in the moment and not thinking about any other problems. I feel very blessed to live near to the sea.
I also love it when I am not exercising on it.
If it's not sunny I enjoy a walk by the ocean. Especially if it is blustery with huge waves. A dog walk on a day like that really blows the cobwebs away for the whole family. I don't know if it is because I can't see beyond the horizon, or because I can see ships passing and I dream of far off lands. The rhythmic crashing waves lull me into a soothing state of mind.
Wild swimming, in particular, has really changed my life. Seawater is rich in magnesium which helps to relax your muscles, relieve stress and improve your sleep. I have written about the benefits of cold water swimming in another blog post. But more than that, the swimming group The Shingle Street Bluetits, has brought me so much joy. I have met such amazing and inspirational people and the cameraderie we have in the water is just lovely.
I'm going to share a few of the comments we have had from Bluetit swimmers. I will keep them anonymous.
"I feel so alive"
"Makes you feel so GOOD"
"Amazing swim this evening, and beautiful sunshine followed by a glorious sunset...just perfect"
"What a marvellous evening"
"I feel a real magic when I go into the water"
"As the rain christened us it was as if the raindrops where sparkling diamonds on the pond/ lagoon
How rich are we!!"
"OMG!!!!! That was amazing!!!! I have always stood by the side watching the kids go in, but this was part of my new things for 40 and I can see what all the fuss is about. Felt amazing"
"What a night! Welcome to all the new people and thank you for a truly awesome evening"
" Thank you for making us feel so welcome last night and making our first blue tits swim so memorable"
"Thank you all for warming my heart and making me truly laugh and feel human again. After a really tough few years this is just amazing. Thanks for giving me the confidence to be me. I can't believe just how amazing this is for self confidence too."
"That was one of the best experiences of my life!"
"What a great evening and so many friendly gals"
"Fantastic swim tonight!"
"Another beautiful day in planet earth and a wonderful swim in our slice of Suffolk heaven."
"It's certainly the best start to the day I've had in a long while."
"Yesterday humbled and thrilled me. To have several new members coming along and to see people’s determination in swimming is so good for the soul. It’s a real sense of community we are developing. You’re all amazing."
"Such fun, exciting, healing, supportive, friendly, life affirming, connecting to nature and positive people"
"Taking the plunge is so much nicer when you're in the company of such lovely people"
We even have a local artist and writer who has kindly offered to compose a poem for us as a group.
I was really inspired for my love of wild swimming after swimming with the Bluetits in Wales.
In May I met with 9 other Bluetit admins for a covid-compliant photoshoot on the beach in beautiful Pembrokeshire. We spent the day walking, dipping and talking. It wasn't long before we realised that whilst each had come on a different path and from a different place there was, nonetheless, a meeting of minds, a sort of 'spiritual' connection that united us. We were 10 women, all self-professed 'works in progress', who were learning to relove our bodies again. See my blog about it here.
We spoke to Rosie from Deakin & Blue swimsuits about our relationships with our bodies, and how they have changed since swimming with the Bluetits. See my Body Story here: Bluetits Body Stories: Natasha. I am so proud and inspired by my fellow Bluetits. Read some of the two very special Bluetit stories below, from Ali & Sophie, two of flock admins (or Top Tits as they are affectionately known.) Content warning - these stories discuss breast cancer and eating disorders. Read Sophie's story and Ali's story.
I love that the magic of the sea has touched me and extended to so many others too, in a way they never thought possible. Do you love the sea? Let me know in the comments.