Pool or Beach?
Mozart or Beethoven?
The Beatles or the Stones?
Tupac or Biggie?
If you had to choose, which would it be?
Me, I’m for the beach through and through. The sand, the salt, the sounds. I do like a pool, especially if stuck in the city during a relentless summer - but truly, give me a beach, any beach. Even a rocky one, as long as the sea is clean. Even a nice big lake, with its crisp waters, mysterious depths and its pikes, perches and other underrated fish.
Just the word beach - or spiaggia, plage, paralya, playa - evoke memories and sentiments that no pool can induce.
Like those long days spent with friends building sand castles and getting sunburned because SPF 50 wasn't yet a thing. Or the time you cut your foot on a stone while being chased by the big kids. Or when you defied your parents, went swimming anyway and got your first jellyfish sting (and thus attracting everyone's attention while they gathered around to inspect the severity of it all). And let's not forget about sneaking that first kiss with your summer crush. It was really nothing, but at the moment it was everything.
The beach, with its distant horizon and bottomless darkness, is really about the infinite. It's where humans, whether aware or not, can feel the vastness of it all. We are just like the sand or pebbles on the shore. We are inconsequential and yet, we are all that matters.
Speaking of things that matter, my youngest child the other day, with orange floaties on her little arms and ready to jump into the pool’s deep end, looked up at me and says, “Sometimes I pee when I swim, that’s why I prefer the sea.” And in she went.
Quite an astute observation for a three-year-old, don't you think?