I like to get back to the magical Crystal Crescent Beach when I go home to visit and I recently learned that I can thoroughly enjoy myself there even in the rain.
I grew up in Nova Scotia, where trips to the beach were almost as common as trips to the grocery store. Every summer of my childhood included weekend beach picnics, frolicking in the waves and sand-filled bathing suits. It was the best.
But, the beach and sunny days just go hand-in-hand for me. So, during a recent trip home, when the day I had reserved for heading to Crystal Crescent Beach ended up being overcast and raining, I wasn’t sure what to do. I had a choice to make; either make the 45-minute trek despite the weather or wait till the sun came out another day…which seemed highly unlikely given the long-term forecast.
So, I packed up my sister’s dog in the car and off we went, just the two of us. About 40 minutes later and 5 kilometres before we hit the beach, it started pouring. I realized how ill-prepared I was. No umbrella. No rain jacket. Just the dog and an empty grocery bag on the floor of the car.
The beach was empty, save three other brave adventurers, but even in the rain it felt good to be at the place of so many happy childhood memories. So, I put the plastic bag over my head and headed out into the rain with the dog and a bit of a grimace on my face.
The dog and I walked along the Crystal Crescent Beach boardwalk, down along the sand and through the hills of beach grass and trees. Rain turned to drizzle. The dog didn’t care that the sun wasn’t shining and soon enough, neither did I. We ran around chasing each other and exploring little nooks and crannies. It was his first time at that particular beach and he was ecstatic. It was joyful for me to experience the place that way with him as if for my first time. I was alone with the dog in the drizzle and I was blissful.
At the risk of sounding too flaky, it really was a life lesson for me (a recovering perfectionist). You can’t always create your ideal version of events, but your reality can be ideal if you just let it be.