I only live an hour from the coast, should try to get there more often. When I do manage to get there though I feel an immediate connection, it’s as if us humans were meant to be there; all life once emerged from the ocean so they say, maybe that is it. The North-West of England is my particular ocean, Southport the place. Oddly, the sea is rarely in when I go there, I generally arrive to just an endless expanse of brown stretching away to the horizon. People sit staring out at nothing but sand and sky, odd but strangely appealing. There is also a pier, the second longest in England, but even that doesn’t reach the sea most of the time.
Everyone’s coast is different, this is mine. Untraditional, distinct, offbeat, peculiar… but entrancing all the same. Never been much of a sunbather; I prefer to walk, to take photos, to explore this unfamiliar realm between land and sea. Life is different here, unchanging, ever-changing, unfamiliar and known all at the same time. A transitory strip between two worlds, one wet, one dry. I sometimes wonder at times like this if the people in these places see the same things that I do. Having a camera in your hand encourages you to see things differently, to ponder, to wonder, to seek stories and meaning in the world around you, it is a life more full and rewarding I find.
But people in these places do the things that people have done for millennia; they enjoy the view, soak up the sun, play with their kids and dogs, only the people themselves and the clothes they wear change. The sea is the sea, the coast the coast, it will always have a pull over us and bring us back time after time. I will be back I am certain.
Do the people who were born and raised on the coast feel like this? Maybe they take it for granted, the same way as I don’t really think about where I live…
Familiarity breeds apathy, it is a fact of life.