There’s a peninsula at the end of our beach that we have never been around. As you can see from the first picture of Baby E, half of the beach is lined with cliffs. Over the years, the cliffs have eroded and the trees have tumbled one by one onto the beach below. The waves batter them and strip them of their excess, leaving bare skeletons of wood that the children love to climb and play on. If you follow the beach to the end, there is a secret spot, a small path behind the large roots of a fallen tree. The secret spot isn’t my favorite to be honest, because the ground ceases to be sandy, and the beach is replaced with a thick, clay mud that smells if the tide is low. But there is never anyone there, so the kids call it their secret lab and they love to explore. For the first time we have been in the secret area, the water was low enough for us to venture around the small peninsula. I wondered what lay on the other side, and to my surprise, there was a very small sliver of beach over there too. Very small. The water splashed up on it and nearly hit the cliff. There was also a small cave, the type of thing that would be fun to let the kids crawl in if I thought it wouldn’t collapse in on them. But really, one of the most fascinating things about the cliffs is that the water has been chewing on them for close to forever. Sticking out of the very hard, packed cliffside are huge shells being slowly revealed by the crashing waves. I wonder what the world looked like when those shells weren’t wedged into the side of a cliff and I wonder what it will look like long after we are gone. We spent nearly two hours on the beach this evening, only noting the passage of time when we realized we were the only ones left. I hope when my children are grown they will remember these moments and think back on their long childhood evenings with a sense of nostalgia and a continued desire to explore.