New Vistas

January 16, 2023

Periodically, I need to get out of my house to clear my head. Yesterday was one of those days. It was cold and gray, our furnace was not working properly, and we had dealt with some difficult family drama the day before. If I had my own personal jet or could time travel, I would take myself to the beach or a tropical island just to feel the ocean breeze and the sand under my toes every week. Sometimes, traveling to the beach is impractical given time and money constraints, so I have learned to be creative. A walk by the river or the lake at University of Richmond can be a reasonable substitute. At those locations I know I will see the open sky and a large expanse of water.

I needed more than that yesterday. Originally, my husband and I planned a day trip to Sandbridge, Virginia, but I woke up feeling like that would require too much sitting in the car. What I craved was a walk along the shore, the chatter of water birds and hopefully, a bowl of warm chowder or soup at a restaurant with a view. I searched for beaches close to where we live in Richmond, Virginia. There were several that came up that I have previously visited – Yorktown, Buckroe Beach, Virginia Beach, a few state parks with lakes. I needed a new vista. We settled on Colonial Beach, about an hour and 20 minutes from our house. Colonial beach is not an ocean beach, but it is on the Potomac River, with a view of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland. It was just what my soul needed. A jaunt on the fishing pier and a walk along the sandy beach was what I needed to regroup and recenter.

After our walk, we wandered through the town, indulging in my fantasy of which house I would like to buy and imagining living in the small town year round. I enjoy the beach in all seasons, but this beach seems to be more of a weekend, summer place, so we would have lots of calm in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. There were lots of great views and the town is cute, with several restaurants and stores open for the permanent residents and weekend visitors. Zillow showed that the houses are affordable, too. There might even be a spot for my coffee shop/yoga studio in one of the store fronts along Washington Street. Many of the restaurants were closed for the season or at least until the end of January, so we ended up getting our crab chowder on the “Riverboat” along shore in Maryland where there is all manner of gambling that Virginia does not allow. We had a meal with a view and ignored the horse races playing on the televisions above our heads.

By the time we got back in the car to drive home, I had let go of lots of the worries and stresses I had carried with me on the way up 301. I still crave a tropical beach, but in a pinch, this option worked. I got in my beach walk. I communed with the seagulls and cormorants. My belly was nourished with fresh seafood. I returned home with more energy to face whatever comes next. Oh, and the sun came out before we left, brightening my outlook and refilling my soul.

Published by bmdavis1

I am a wife, mother of 2 grown sons, a school librarian and a certified yoga instructor. My hobbies include gardening, walking in nature and chasing around my two ornery cats.

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