Beach Art and Benefaction

You’re over the threshold, but don’t get settled in just yet; I’ve got some thinking for you to do. I need you to open the doors of memory and wander back down the pathways of your mind to a point when you were a small child – maybe six or seven – and magic was still a possibility.

Just hold that place – that time – in the centre of your thoughts and think on it for a few moments.

Daisy Magic

What was that place, which was most magical to you? How did you feel when you were there? Was it a physical place full of wonder and nature, or the mind-boggling creations of mankind? Was it an emotional space, untethered from the tangible realm, where you could roam free in your imagination and be utterly at peace – utterly you? Was it an intellectual arena burgeoning in theories and concepts which flowed without stopping through your young mind, leaving a lasting impression in the oft-used neural pathways as you pondered more deeply each time? Was it a spiritual place, transcending time and physicality, where you felt that deep connection and filling of the soul like sails before a strong breeze, as your senses began to awaken and everything took on new meaning?

I want to know.

Because rightly or wrongly, I hope that this week, the productivity of one of my evenings will create magic for some small children, and blow their minds wide open to the fact that the world can hold wonders beyond their imagining.

It started with Sharpies (yes – the markers, and my penchant for having one (or two) about my person at all times, just in case*) and Husby’s generosity at the store this evening. He caught sight of a BIG pack on sale, and ran to fetch it for me, informing me that he knew I liked them, and he was thinking of me. He then espied an EVEN BIGGER and more glorious pack with an equal reduction in place, and decided that I should have the larger and more beautiful of the two, because more colours = more fun.

I *squeee*d with delight and gave him a big hug and a smile, and we continued on our merry way before he started to follow my every movement with the trolley, to the point that in the fruit aisle, I very nearly screamed. Through gritted teeth I asked him to keep further away from me, and stepped forwards to put a bag of apples in the trolley when he moved back. And continued to move back each time I stepped forward, a mischievous glint in his eye, letting me know that he was only doing what I had asked. He escaped with his life – it’s alright – but at that point I decided I might have earned the Sharpies for putting up with his antics on the shopping trip, and didn’t clobber him with the apples.

As soon as we got back to the holiday cottage, I pulled out all my favourites (the rainbow, a black, and a couple of extra pinks, a blue and a green) and packed them away in my bag in a pencil-case I just happened to have there (Mary Poppins has nothing on me – I have a wooden peg, a fork, an ice-cream spoon, tissues, painkillers, notebooks, bouncy balls and a paper laser in my bag, along with the usual paraphernalia).

Later that night, at the beach, I was delighted that my memory of an abundance of white, perfect stones was not over-exaggerated, and after our meal, I sat, sipping delicious toffee-apple cider, wrapped in Husby’s shemag, toes in the sand, salt wind in my hair and the ocean sparkling in the distance, making fairy stones.

[They’re not creatively named, I’ll admit that, but I prefer that moniker to ‘angel stones’ (or pretty much ‘angel’ anything) and I couldn’t think of anything more accessible to convey the idea that some magical being had been leaving surprising works of doodle at the beach, just to amuse whomsoever discovered it.]

Husby was suitably impressed with each doodle, and eventually we both got too cold to sit any longer in the shade, and our thoughts turned to cups of tea and the warm indoors, so I gathered my fairy stones, posed them for a quick photograph, and then stood, hurling them as far as I could in all directions, across the beach.

Beach Art Imagination

Having released them into the wild, bearing their new colours, I left the beach feeling satisfied; indulgently imagining some child, about Niece or Neff’s age, discovering them in the morning whilst beach-combing, and letting out a sudden exclamation of surprise before showing it to whichever grown-up they were attended by, and avidly searching for more.

I hope they will be found by the kind of child who will cherish them; the kind of child who could spend hours, head bent low, scouring the beach for beautiful shells, lucky rocks or interestingly shaped pieces of driftwood; the kind of child whose pockets would be filled with beach treasures after each visit; the kind of child who might develop an affinity for the ocean, a deep and stilling love of the sea, and see magic at every beach they visit – in short, the kind of child I was.

I like the idea that one day, when grown up, someone might ask one of those children to recall a magical time in their lives, when imagination was lithe and bright, and the world held endless opportunities. I like the ‘perhaps’ that one of my doodles might be part of cementing someone’s life-long love of the beach. And I love the possibility that whoever finds these might be brought a moment of joy.

Call it whimsy, if you will, but happen there were a way to reach back through time and offer some small token of unexplainable delight and encouragement to little-girl-me, even if it could be rationalised by the adults around her, I think she’d appreciate it. So for the sake of others like her, who might need a spot of magic and wonder to break through *for real* into their world, I’ll keep doodling on rocks and hoping that they’re found by the right kids.

Have you ever tried to make the world more magical? Did anything incredible happen to you as a small child, and leave an indelible memory of wonder? Do you think it’s a good thing to try to prolong the belief that sometimes, amazing things CAN *just happen*?


*In case what? Occasionally I have had cause to write names indelibly; restore the rubbed-off faces of plastic toys; draw semi-permanent tattoos on people’s skins; colour one fingernail in (just because); write addresses to overseas (I don’t know why, but I’m always more worried they’ll smudge if they’re going further…); and most importantly – draw on otherwise unimportant things which can hold a doodle.


48 thoughts on “Beach Art and Benefaction

  1. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #62 | Considerings

  2. See how very far behind I am?!?! THIS is the most wonderful thing I can imagine! I know exactly what the reaction of my children would be and I guarantee, your goal would be accomplished. I must ask your permission to steal this perfect idea….we need fairy stones here in America.

    As for the contents of your bag, I would expect nothing less than your array of quirky paraphernalia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • STEAL IT! Ohhh yes – that would be AMAZING! Make them and start a trend – get EVERYONE doing it 😀 The world will be filled with magic 🙂 Do it! Do it! 😀

      And behind beschmind – whatever! You’re here, and that’s really sweet of you to even bother catching up 🙂 I appreciate it.

      Yeah – I got ALLSORTS in there…wow!


  3. Pingback: Secrets of Art and Nature | The Dragon's Lair

  4. I love to fly kites. I got into it really seriously a few years ago. But my grandfather found some kites that he and my grandmother bought many, many years ago when we went to the beach. It took me a while to recognize them from that time, but, somehow, the memory came back.

    I took one and painted stars and a moon on it with some primer and glow-in-the-dark paint:
    Painted kite flying 2

    It didn’t have the nighttime effect I wanted, but it was cool. I actually remember how much steadier the wind was on the beach. Where I live is what the late Margaret Greger (“Kites for Everyone”) calls “delta country”– gusty, irregular winds. Someday, I want to return to the beach, to return to experience again what her husband Greg says is really something special.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I once had a shiny, spinning kite which promised to look like a UFO once it was up in the sky. It actually just looked like a shimmery dot, but it was kinda cool and I liked it well enough. I don’t think we ever had consistent enough wind for kiting, except for those little pocket kites you can get for a coupla quid.

      Old, discovered kites sound VERY cool though 🙂


      • UFO kite– sounds maybe sorta like the Prism Flip kites I had at one time, or the Prism EO Atom.

        It’s sort of an obscure hobby, I guess… most adults that get into it go for really big stuff that can be displayed smartly, or they’re the extreme sport dudes– think windsurfing and snowboarding, but with big parachute-looking kites pulling them on the tasty waves and snow powder.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Holographic – that was the word I was trying to think of earlier. I forgot it, somehow.

          I always liked the kite-festival kinds of kites – not the slick big ones, but the fancy ten-on-a-string ones, and the dragons and fish and eagles and airplanes – the really awesomely DIFFERENT ones.

          I also like box kites because I haven’t the foggiest how the heck they stay UP!


          • but the fancy ten-on-a-string ones

            Oh yes, kite trains! I’ve done a few of them… they are great fun. But, I never did them very properly– they work best when the kites are all the same shape and size.

            I also like box kites because I haven’t the foggiest how the heck they stay UP!

            They just do. Box kites are fun because there’s so many variations. My personal go-to favorite variation is a cross between the Delta and the Coyne (or French Military) called the Delta Coyne. The Coyne/French Military itself is a box kite variation. DCs never let me down because they have EXCELLENT lift and do so well with the gusty, breezy winds where I live.

            If you ever have the time, please click on my Flickr links– I have gorgeous photos that Cimmy, Princess and I took of flying kites (mostly me, but, them, and Boy too). I will probably tweet a few specific ones to you.

            Liked by 1 person

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  6. OH! Also, once, on Easter Sunday, when we came home from church, our backyard was a huge mud puddle. My parents let us play in it. Best Day Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s awesome. I want a mud puddle now. You know I’m a fan of mud. My mum would let us dig in the vegetable patch, and I could spend HOURS with a trowel, digging giant holes to China, collecting all the shards of broken pottery and washing them and laying them out to dry on the path. And then sometimes we’d fill the holes with water and play mud, but I think that sometimes ended in trouble…


  7. Pinned your beach art because it makes me happyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Also, I’m a big believer in keeping childhood full of as much magic and wonder as possible. You may have already known that though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had an inkling, my dear 😀 and I LOVE that you are, because it comes through in your writing so often, and it’s one of the things which is my favourite about your writing – it often has that magic still in it.


  8. What a fun and loving thing to do, Lizzi. I bet any child that finds one of your fairy stones will love it forever. And I were to find a fairy stone I would keep it in my curio cabinet. You are a good soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope they do…I hope they find them and enjoy them. I will never know, and that (in a strange way) is kind of part of the fun of doing something like this 🙂

      I hope you somehow find one, one day – or something equally magical 🙂 (what’s in your curio cabinet? Have you written about it?)


  9. I love Sharpies. And I love that your husband found bigger packs with more colors. My office supply-loving heart approves.

    Fairy stones. I think the name is perfect. And the idea is absolutely lovely. I would have been SO excited to find one of these when I was a kid (or now, really) and I know my daughter would feel the same. And can we talk about your artistic amazingness? Because I want to tell you which fairy stone is my favorite, but I can’t pick just one. They are beautiful and fun.

    This whole story made my day start off exactly the right way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh well that makes me ten kinds of *glowyhappy* thanks, Tracie 🙂

      I think my favourite is the solid rainbow one. Or the spotty one. But I do rather like them all. I think it would be easier to go with my least favourites and work up from there 🙂 And yes – if I’d found one of these as a child, I would have been over the MOON! Wow – that would have been the coolest thing ever.

      And YAY to office-supply-loving-hearts 😀 Husby’s a star 🙂


  10. My dad was the king of making life magical for his children.. So many memories.. I think we were the only kids on the block that knew that the tooth fairy had long blond hair. We knew this because when we would lose a tooth, we would wrap it oh so carefully and put it on the window sill with the window cracked just a bit.. And the next morning we’d find our $5 bill and long blond hair caught in the now closed window. Our dad would always say, “Well, she must’ve heard you waking up and barely made it out!” The end of a carrot and sometimes a little piece of cotton tail would get caught in the front door at Easter too.. The Easter bunny heard us waking up too and he barely made it out.. 🙂 – Great post. Great rocks! I’d love to see the faces of the little boys and girls finding those!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh your dad sounds AMAZING! What wonderful things he did for you 🙂 That’s incredible. I love his imagination and how he encouraged you to believe in wonderful, exciting, unlikely things. That’s so much fun 🙂

      I wish I could have seen the faces, but there was no way of achieving that. Ah well…I shall IMAGINE them 🙂


  11. we are always planting some sort of magical thought in our kids head …Amelia believes more than James but James loves our rituals….i think the fairy stones are wonderful – I think a child finding one of your stones can open up their own wonderful magical imagination – and hopefully the adult, or parent with the child will allow the child to believe and imagine.

    Sharpies? Pencil case? ( big smile ) I have one too-and i am getting excited because we will soon have to go buy school supplies for our children and me too!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhh GOODY – it’s always nice to find someone who likes stationery as much as I do. I have a bit of a *thing* for pens and pencils and stuff – I have SO much lying around the house (mostly unused) 🙂

      I hope the adult with the child would encourage them to believe, if not in magic, then in the idea that the world still holds wonder and surprise. I love that you intentionally stretch your kids’ imaginations and encourage them to think creatively 🙂


  12. This is so beautiful I have tears in my eyes. My kids are at the agw where they question magic and if they found a rock like yours, it would mean so much. tHis is a lovely idea and your skills are spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s wonderful feedback – thank you so much, Courtney. I shall keep my pens with me on future visits to the beach. They won’t be so frequent now I’m back from my holiday, but I think I might make it a tradition to try to create at least one fairy stone per visit.


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