A Beach Walk: Finding Beauty in the Rust

A Beach Walk: Finding Beauty in the Rust

Our favorite family escape is the beach. We used to live just a few minutes away from it and could easily hop in the car and stop by for a early morning meditation, afterschool romp, or a sunset stroll. Now, living half an hour away, our beach trips are fewer. My mom lives on the beach and we recently took an evening stroll with family. The weather has been so mild this winter, who could resist spending some quiet moments taking in the glorious view and the salty breeze?

Danger Obstruction (1024x683)

The view to the north is of some city storm drains. I’ve always hated them. The diamond sign screams “Danger Obstruction”. Trust me I need no warning. They are enormous, rusty, ugly ol’ things, draining lord knows what from our gutters into the precious water. Ewww. I prefer the view from the top of the boardwalk, taking in the vast sky before me. We can watch the huge cargo ships, aircraft carriers, and battle ships coming into port from all over the world. The Navy Seals practicing maneuvers and fighter jets flying overhead, practicing their touch-n-goes is always entertaining. I love this beach!

beach play (1024x671)

My children have spent their lives playing in the sand here since they were in diapers. It is home. The kids always knew the rule never to play on the storm drains. I don’t need an emergency room run for a tetanus shot interrupting my beach day, thank you very much.

“Let’s go take a walk to the storm drains mom!”

Now that they’re older, I think I’ve relaxed (or given up) a bit. The sun was setting and the daylight was getting short, so off we went. The kids ran ahead, racing each other. My hubs and eldest walked arm and arm. She’s growing up so fast and will soon be off to college (sniff, sniff, wahhhhh!). I’m glad she has such a closeness to her daddy.

beach stroll (1024x625)

The sentimentality of the kids’ growth is a reminder of my own age. I hate aging! The mirror doesn’t lie. The lines around my eyes are deeper and more visible, and the texture of my skin is changing. I can’t stop the clock and I desperately want to! I know I have to accept aging and embrace it. I need to change my perspective. I’m trying, really I am.


n. a) A view or vista b) A mental view or outlook

We reached the storm drains. The kids climbed up some strange concrete structure I’ve never quite figured out exactly what its purpose was, and I glared at the ugly, rusty, old flaking iron pipes. I’m not sure what happened at that moment. A lump formed in my throat. Maybe it was the children’s laughter, the sunset, or just stupid hormones, who knows?

I saw beauty in the rust.

storm drain (667x1024)

How could I have not seen this before; the colors of the rust, the wood, worn by years of wind, salt and waves crashing against it, the algae and moss, and the crusty barnacles and sea life that was living on and around it?

Pilongs (683x1024)

beach wood (1024x683)

storm drains (672x1024)

There was beauty right before my eyes but I had refused to see it because it was OLD and ugly. I know I want others to see beyond the crows feet and smile lines and see me for who I am, but do I refuse to see my own beauty that lies within? It is all about perspective indeed.

The sun was falling behind the beach homes and we started back to mom’s house at the end of the row. The sky was beautiful and a warm glow bounced off the window panes.

shoreline (1024x683)

My younger daughter, Madison, held back and walked with me. Talk about the beauty of youth! People say she is a mini-me. (I’m not a real brunette by the way, I’m actually a blonde. I get bored with hair easily and I’m trying the brown thing out.) Though I certainly don’t retain her youthful beauty anymore, we do share a sassy, opinionated demeanor I still unfortunately haven’t outgrown.

madison (1024x683)

She snapped a pic of me. Madison loves taking pictures and is a pretty good little photographer. See what’s in my hand? I managed to collect of few pieces of driftwood and a few shells, but the beach was pretty clean. A girl can never have enough drift wood and shells to decorate with. (haha, see I had to fit something about decorating in this post!)

beach walk (683x1024)

How about this perspective? I don’t need to be overly introspective when I see this home. Pretty beautiful isn’t it? Mom’s home is gorgeous, there’s no denying that. It’s the prettiest home on the block in my opinion.

Mom's home (1024x683)

Who knew a simple walk on the beach would change my perspective on appearance?

Have you found beauty in the rust?



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  1. Beautiful pictures! I love finding the beauty in nature and especially in structures.

  2. Great post. I love going out on adventures and capturing the beauty in what most people wouldn’t even think twice about. -Not to mention the Beach is one of our fav. spots :0)

  3. Lovely post and great reminder!

  4. Isn’t it funny how our perspective changes on all sorts of things the older we get. You are so lucky to have such a beautiful spot to visit 🙂

  5. Oh, I LOVED this post!! My beach is my safe haven, somehow problems & worries don’t seem to matter once the sand hits your feet 🙂 You are sooo BLESSED to not only have access to such a beautiful beach, but a BEAUTIFUL beach house too!

    • Kim, I can’t agree more. Ever since I was very small I could look at the water, feeling the sand between my toes, the wind in my hair and KNOW that everything would be ok. The water is one of God’s gifts to us, when we feel closest to him. 🙂

  6. I found your blog on Pinterest and am a Kim too who loves water.

    I’ve enjoyed the things I’ve read and look forward to following your blog.


  7. It’s nice that you have a new perspective! I love the beach and you be there everyday. How wonderful that your daughter is so much like you…now you know how to deal with her! lol! She really is a beauty!


  8. Kim, I read your posts when they arrive conveniently in my inbox. But, today I had to come over to comment. This post is so well written and really spoke to me. However, I wanted to tell you that when I met you last year I thought you had a very real and natural beauty both on the exterior and interior. You wear your age with pride and yet, it really belies your true age because I think you are a real “looker!” 😉 Personally I’m happier and more comfortable with my looks than I ever have been before. I recognize the features that I cannot change and embrace them. I also recognize the features that I like and am not afraid to flaunt them.

    Have a great week and hope to see your beautiful smiling face again in June.

  9. Your photographs are always beautiful! And your mom’s house is to die for!! The beach is our favorite vacation spot even though we live in land-locked Illinois.

  10. Wow, your mom’s home is amazing! It is a dream home for sure. Thanks for the change in perspective today! Embrace your lines, they are lines of the story of a play called “my life”!

  11. Amazing photos and a beautiful post!!!
    Your mother’s home is beautiful!!!

  12. Love this post, Kim!! Our perspective really does change with age, doesn’t it?

  13. I live very close to this area! i love it out there. Beautiful home!

  14. YES! I love a little rust…and I, too, have not outgrown my sassy, opinionated demeanor. Sigh. 🙂

    Your mom’s house is absolutely gorgeous…what wonderful memories you must all have of that beach.

    (Oh, and my It’s a Cinch projects today were stenciled driftwood signs…never, ever enough driftwood or sea glass.)

  15. What a beautifully written post! It does touch home with me since I am now closer to 50 than I am 40! But I’m ok with that. (I think 😉 ) I’m with you on the beauty within….and the “rust” (beauty) that is what we see on the outside. So true..all about perspective.
    I live near the beach too and wouldn’t have it any other way! Always have and always will…it’s just part of me.
    Your mother’s home is spectacular btw.

  16. I tend to photograph very close up shots of rust, peeling chippy paint, weathered wood, broken stone on old buildings. This article really hit home because I do see beauty in all of that but as I see the lines on my face that weren’t there 10 years ago, I start to get a little anxious about them.
    Maybe I should see their beauty, too.