Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos, Mexico

Taking the Time

by Katie O'Sullivan

It may sound crazy, but this winter I traveled 3,330 miles just to sit on a beach.

Let me explain.

While I live on Cape Cod, surrounded all year long by an abundance of beaches, I hardly ever take the time to actually appreciate the natural beauty of the scenery. To just sit on a beach chair and listen to the rhythm of the waves. To breathe in the salt-scented air and appreciate the dance of the seagulls whirling overhead.

I frequently walk on the beach near my house, marching along the sand in the early morning as the dogs frolic in the surf and chase gulls. When the kids were younger, I'd load up the wagon and schlep the sand toys and towels and snacks and water bottles and sunscreen to watch them build castles and catch crabs along the base of the jetty.

But for the last several summers, the kids have been too busy to want to go to the beach with Mom. They're off at sailing lessons, or camp, or at the beach with their friends. My beach chair sat neglected in the shed for so long that squirrels built a nest inside of it.

In December, my husband and I took a trip to Los Cabos, which is along the Pacific-side of Mexico. We decided to do something completely unusual – and just relax for a whole week. No fishing trips, no whale watches, no site-seeing tours. We sat on the beach, and listened to the sound of the waves rolling in and out.

Sitting on my lounge chair in Mexico, sipping blue margaritas and listening to the gentle breezes flap the edges of the umbrella overhead, I honestly couldn't remember the last time I actually spent any quiet time on a beach, appreciating Mother Nature in all her sun-drenched glory.

Katie O'Sullivan is the Editor of this magazine. She lives in Harwich with her family, and will be shopping local for that new beach chair.

Her latest novel, SON OF A MERMAID, is YA fiction set on the beaches of Cape Cod, and will be available in May 2013.

Tourists come from all over the world to experience Cape Cod. Our beaches were declared a National Treasure more than 50 years ago, and designated as a National Seashore.

How many of us take time to appreciate the Nature we see every day as we drive to work, or to the supermarket, or to drop the kids at school? How many times did you sit on the beach last year?

From the roaring glory and surfer haven of high tide at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham to the meandering rivulets filled with scuttling hermit crabs along the low-tide sandbars of Skaket Beach in Orleans, Cape Cod has enough variety to satisfy everyone.

And if you're not in the mood for saltwater, there are even 365 different lakes and ponds to choose from, right here on Cape Cod.

Nauset Light Beach, Cape Cod
Nauset Light Beach, Cape Cod

So why not take advantage of these beaches that are so close to home? Why travel all the way to the Pacific in order to relax in the sand?

There is no short answer. There are, however, a lot of excuses. And I'd venture a guess that it's not just me making excuses.

The world moves at an incredible pace. With the twenty-four hour news cycle and a smart phone in every pocket, there is no escape from the busy world around us. Unless we consciously make the choice to take time to relax, it doesn't happen.

Sitting on that Mexican beach, I made a promise to myself that 2013 will be different. This year, I'm writing it on the calendar and scheduling time to sit quietly and enjoy Nature's bounty and beauty.

I think I need a new beach chair.

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