I read once — maybe in a biography of T.E. Lawrence — that it’s no accident that the three great monotheistic religions were born in or near deserts, since that landscape’s sky-filled starkness underscores human limitations and draws one’s thoughts to the eternal, or something like that. A beach does that even more, since the landscape is not only sky-filled and stark but more beautiful — and the ocean’s power, which can be seen and heard and felt, demonstrates the Creator’s omnipotence and majesty. The power is overwhelming and humbling but also reassuring and irenic and soothing. I love the beach.