We had our first go at doing some beach art on King Edwards Bay in Tynemouth the other day. It was a really great experience. The sea was out and on its way back in, the sky was clear and bright inland and then moving off the sea the fog was thinking about rolling in. Which is what it did as we finished up. There was only a few of us, but it was enough. We started by just playing about with rakes and making patterns in the sand, and then we felt brave enough to create something.
One of the ladies had been on the net and found a picture of a tree that had been drawn into the sand (see picture bottom left) so we thought we would give that a shot. It was a moving experience, knowing and watching the tide take it away, cleaning the canvas for the next time. But there was something else that caught me by surprise, it was the sense of connection with the elements and in the act of making and marking the sands it felt good. It didn’t matter what it looked like, there was something about connecting with your imagination and letting yourself go and being free.
I think that it is in the imagination that sometimes God makes a connection with us, his creativity speaks to the creativity in us. I have come to the conclusion that we should nurture the imagination, rather than stunt it. I felt like a little child on the beach as I was making and creating. I wonder in the complexities of life have we forgotten how to have fun and use our imagination. Even children these days are given toys that ‘do it all’. I remember as a kid playing in the lounge with my little toy cars. I had lots of different grand prix cars. I would make race tracks using match sticks. I would create a drivers championship and make several courses over an afternoon until I had my winner… normally Niki Lauda!
As some of you will be aware I have started writing poetry/spoken word pieces again after many years and this has given me lots of joy. Trying to craft out words and phrases, and so with the beach art, I was able to connect again with that creative divine spirit that made us and this wonderful world.
It was lovely to watch people from the cliff top looking down at what we were doing, some taking photos,some just taking in the sight and the sea air. We had the odd conversation with people walking with their dogs on the beach asking what we were doing. We will certainly be back again over the next few months doing it again… Watch this space too as we will be creating an Easter morning beach labyrinth, this will be the first one of the year.