29 May 2018

Thoughts on beachcombing

I am really enjoying my beachcombing hobby, and I started to think about why I like it. I think part of it is the human hunter gatherer instinct - we don't need to spend time tracking down our next meal, but it's part of human nature to go out and look for things.

It's also a meditation on how we as humans affect the world. The sea pottery and glass that I find were once waste products in themselves, but I also see a lot of plastic waste on the seashore. And bringing my finds home and using them is a way of recycling or upcycling. There's a lot of time to think about all this while wandering along the beach.
My walks are also helping me to learn about nature. I can see the different creatures that are washed up on the shore, the shells, and the seaweeds. There are seasonal changes in the weather, and the movements of the tides to consider.

My finds are tying in with my interest in local history, so I'm reading about the potteries and glassworks in the area and looking at pictures of the items they produced.

One of the great things about beachcombing is that it is helping me to achieve a lot of my 2018 goals. It's encouraging me to walk more, to relax, to spend time in nature, and it's fun for free. It's also letting me be spontaneous because sometimes I'll just decide at short notice to head off to a beach. It's creating happy memories, and encouraging me to enjoy experiences rather than things (although it has to be said I bring a lot of "things" home with me!). And I can use my finds to create. Which is all helping me to be happy!

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