The sound of the sea eases through the open windows as darkness slowly falls. The relentless roll of the surf, a few stray shouts of beach-goers enjoying the very last of the light.
The scent of the sea and Christmas lilies fills the house and the children lie sleeping in the other room as I write in the half-light. The beds are full of sand, as is the bath and the floors crunch slightly underfoot. Tomorrow I'll do a proper clean, but for now it's enough just to listen, to smell, to breath deeply.
The kids have been over-tired after too many nights staying up for carols, Christmas lights, first evening by the sea, and too many early wakings to check presents, run down to the sea, but in between melt downs today has been a perfect day, with the little ones squealing with delight as they boogie board, experiencing their first dumpers, run along the shore, follow the twisty-turny paths through the ti-trees, and meet all the second cousins and first cousins once removed that converge over summer.
Shoes are forgotten as we feel sand and sun warmed earth beneath our feet and worries and cares disappear. All the stresses of the past year are fading, excitement about the promise of the new year grows almost hourly.
By the sea - always restoring, renewing.
We are so very, very grateful for this magical time of peace.