I was born in the city in Vietnam and have lived in the fast-paced city life all of my life here in the United States. Although I love the diversity of cultures, exchanges in ideas, and the excitement of city life, time simply flies by so quickly that I often find myself wondering if I could have used my time more wisely and meaningfully with those around me.
Whenever I feel the need to put a pause to my hectic schedule, I often retrieve to the one place where time slows down for me, and I am able to better reflect and attend to my priorities, my family.
The beach is such an integral place in my life. So many wonderful memories come to mind when I think of the beautiful beaches and waters that I have been blessed to visit and enjoy. My husband proposed to me on the sandy beach of Galveston, which I was so happy I almost dropped the ring in the ocean. Our honeymoon was on the beautiful city of Cancun, where I snorkeled in the middle of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico for the first time.
On the beach in little island of Capri was where I swam in the brisk, cool Mediterranean Sea for the very first time. Our babymoon was in Bora Bora, where I felt our baby’s first faint kick. On the soft and white sandy beach in Destin, Florida was where we took our baby for our very first family vacation together at about 4 months old for a family reunion. Splish-splashing on the shore of Jamaica was where my sweet baby went to for his first international trip. And recently, along Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman was where we created our very own sandman to replace the traditional snowman to celebrate Christmas in the Caribbean. My memories on the beach and of the beach are plentiful and truly invaluable.
Since our trips to the beach are mostly part of a vacation, our time there has always been greatly limited and precious. May it be building sandcastles, leaving footprints in the sand while chasing our nineteen month old, feeling the gentle brush of the waves along the shore, “stargazing” of starfish as they come near the shore or watching the last sunrise before heading home, time spent on the beach reminds me to slow down, live, and cherish the great gift of the present. As the beach constantly reminds me that no grain of sand on the beach is ever the same as no other time in our lives is the exactly the same as now, I must seize the moment before me. Thus, the gentle reminder of the beach and ocean has inspired me to live more fully, meaningfully, and presently each and every day. So much so that samples of sand from the beaches that we have visited as a family sit in jars by my bed to remind me to slow down and cherish the present everyday, even when I am back at home and back to my life in the city.
About the Author: My name is Ha Dinh. I am a first grade educator, mother, wife, and avid traveler. My husband and I love traveling, and when we knew we were expecting our baby, we decided to “give” our little one the world by taking him along with us as we continue to visit, discover, and learn about the wonderful people and places around the world. Find me on Facebook.
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