When I was her age, going to the beach in the dead of winter was never a thought. Not that we were living close enough to the coast to pack up the car for a day’s hike along the shore anyway. No worries, though. I’ve got her same little-kid sense of wonder and excitement every time my feet hit the sand, regardless of the season or my age. Today, I looked just like her, right down to the sand eddying around a pair of cute wellies as the gentle waves receded. Maybe my seaside adventures were meant to be delayed. My younger self no doubt would have enjoyed hunting for shells, digging in the sand, and racing the approaching waves, but I’m not sure I would have appreciated other aspects of the day: the tang of the nippy salt-laden breeze on my lips, the perfectly imperfect striations on the razor clam shells, the way the sun’s rays illuminated the beached strands of Crayola-bright kelp, or the flat-out, belly-to-the-sand run of an Australian sheepdog chasing his favorite ball. So much to take in, yet there is no haze of ambiguity or impression of chaos; every detail is unusually clear yet remains solidly in its context. My senses, it seems, only ever work to their full potential when I’m at the beach.