Spade Listing in Practice on Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford

Writing about Spade Lists and the importance of adding creativity and colour into the everyday grind just recently drew me out to Woodstown Beach yesterday. I was definitely in need of a break from the sweat of  coping with computer issues and  ‘running errands.’  Yes, I bought a big yellow spade and dithered about the bucket, as I’m not entirely about Bucket Lists. But somehow, the vibrant green bucket that was latched on to the yellow spade  insisted on coming too.

Woodstown Beach is just a few miles from Waterford City and has a sheltered charm as it lies a little back from the wide open sea. To my mind, it has the best selection of shells of any beach in Co. Waterford and is delightful in the way, like Stradbally, that it combines both trees and sea.

Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford

 Running on to the beach, swinging the bucket and spade, I felt like the miles of sand was an open canvas.  Nature was creating all round me, the tide coming in ever so gently, seagulls digging,  fluffy clouds playing like huge soft duvets.  Down on my knees in the fine warm sand just above the tide line, I started my digging thinking about Australia, and of course, the water came up to meet me with a few lines of verse swirling around from my poetry friends down there.

The bucket edged its way forward in a little gust of wind. Pile in handfuls of sand, smooth it down, quick turn to get the best of the mould.  The sheer anticipation, sense of wonderment and pure connection with the sand was even better than I had remembered when I wrote the Spade List post the other night.

Lured by the whispers of the sea, I took off shoes and socks and made my way into the soothing water where tiny waves were weaving shapes and tumbling with rippling grace all round. All sense of  daily wear and tear ground away in these stolen moments.

Now to start my Spade List!  How liberating to write in the sand – no need for pencil, pen, computer – just one finger carving letters through the heavy grains. This isn’t a writing competition; there are no lines or margins. One huge page that the incoming tide will read and remember as it absorbs the creation that is mine but which has plenty of room for people the world over to share. So  join with me and take time to pour colour, inspiration and creativity into your life.

Midsummer ~ Buckets and Spades

I have been giving a lot of thought to Bucket Lists and Spade Lists in recent times.  A Bucket List, which derives its name from that great 2007  film, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, is about those things you would if  told you only had a short time to live.  Thankfully, I haven’t been hit with news of impending death so I haven’t done much more than think about Bucket Lists in an abstract way. 

Spade Lists, though,  are of a different order, and for me, they are about everyday digging. Such digging can be seen as a daily grind or it can be infused with creativity, colour and connection.  Flashbacks to childhood days on Tramore Beach, here in Co. Waterford,  with a big yellow spade digging happily, hoping to get to Australia, but knowing that I was in a race against both the water coming up from Australia and the tide coming in behind me with its white  lacy edges. 

Those hours kneeling on  the beach, feeling both the damp, heavy sand and taking time to let the hot fine grains flow through my young fingers were all about living totally in the precious moments while planning new creations. Go, gather coloured stones and shells to decorate a sandcastle;  divert the tide with dams and build bridges from one castle to another to enable the  seaweed people with their fancy shell bonnets to party with each other…..

Weaving creative wonder into everyday life is not just for kids on the beach. It’s there for all of us if we just step back onto those beaches and use our bright yellow spades to carve out Spade Lists that will let us savour the magic that can be there in even the most mundane activities – like doing the grocery shopping. Hey, see all the bright yellows staring out from the fruit and veg!