We were visiting relatives near the south coast this weekend. A few years ago these were full day visits, arriving for coffee, then lunch, maybe a walk and then tea. Over the years the duration of the visits has lessened and now we leave early after lunch so as not to disturb the afternoon nap.
It is hard watching a deterioration in health with ageing. For many years these changes were slight, almost unnoticeable, but recently the differences we see between relatively frequent visits are marked.
Afterwards, when the weather is fine we drive the few extra miles to the beach. We walk along the promenade, something about the rhythm of the sea is calming and reassuring - always changing with the weather and tides but essentially the same.
We've seen this beach in all the seasons, this time it was sunny but breezy and the sand had been blown into these ridges.
The ridges were at right angles to the sea as were the usual marks made by the tide.
Towards the end of the afternoon there were very few people,
we shared the beach with the seagulls.
There will be changes soon amongst our elderly relatives as independent living becomes more difficult. The choices and decisions that will have to be made are not easy. It is an unsettling time.
We also have to look after ourselves. We worry about ageing parents and about our children starting their careers and moving away to work. We are the "sandwich" generation and it often feels overwhelming.
I try to relax with the situations that are developing, there is only so much that we can do, ageing cannot be controlled. Taking a walk at the beach instead of getting in the car and driving straight home seems to help. With clear blue sea and sky it certainly was very beautiful - noticing the good things.