At The Beach Today…


I saw a man and a woman who were tanned beyond tan.  They resembled nothing so much as walking planks of mahogany and I was repulsed.  Not that I don’t appreciate a good dose of colour in my own pallid cheeks come spring, and I love to get some sunshine kissing my hair – happy blondiness that doesn’t come from a bottle!  More importantly, with the highest rate of MS in the world, it is essential for Canadians to get some real Vitamin D every day, and 10 minutes of sunshine will provide that without risk of skin cancer… all other things being equal.

But these people were, and I cannot say this too much, repulsive.  And ugly.  And I felt sorry for them.  And worried for them.  And hoped that they had lots of term insurance for the sake of their children.

And then I saw other people of colour on the beach.  Real colour, if  you will, people from SE Asia and Africa and the Middle East (based on the languages I was hearing and the food being consumed), but also people now from Canada who were doing what Canadians do on a summer Saturday, spending the day with family and friends at the beach.  It was an ironic moment.  I like irony.  But I also like reality, and this reality seems pretty good.  I mean, the country in which I grew up is not the country in which I live right now, and I think this is a good thing.

While I was watching the Canada Day citizenship ceremony which the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge attended, we were given a brief propaganda piece from the Harper Government about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship – which I agree is very important to know and understand, but dear me, it was presented so much like propaganda.  But I am glad for the one thing the piece brought to the forefront, which was  a strong visual and audio reminder that our country’s new citizens are coming from different places than once they did.  We are growing up in this our 145th year.

Pretty profound thinking for an afternoon at the beach, but the water was freezing cold and filled with icky seaweed so swimming was out of the question.  And having had a sufficiency of tuna pasta salad as well as having forgotten the watermelon, well, thinking was the last activity left to me.  I thought about how lovely it was to have some late afternoon sunshine warming up my face.  I thought about the 2 quarts of strawberries in the cooler in the car and what I could do with them.  I thought about my intense desire to get a pedicure.  I thought about  the two stories about that little town I absolutely must finish (the first draft) because they’re spending too much time rattling around in my brain.   I thought about the deliciousness of drinking ice water, and then drank some.  I thought about how many books I have put off reading for the past three months and wished, briefly, I could have that time back just to read those books, and then realized the books are still there and I will find time.  And I thought about anger and loss and peace and gain, and I thought while it is somewhat annoying and even a little disappointing that I’m not passed the former two, I am gaining on the latter two, and that’s a good thing.

And I thought about sand in the ass.  Can there be anything more uncomfortable??  Really, I must remember not to sit right on the sand until AFTER the bathing suit has dried.

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