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Memories: Lost On Bar Beach…

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“In every out thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” Rachel Carson

Memories: Lost On Bar Beach... A Stroller on Lagos Bar Beach...

I was recently reminded of a childhood memory when I read about how children get lost in a moment of playful curiosity… When we were quite young, my parents and my siblings were visiting Nigeria for the first time after some years spent in England. It was an exciting visit to the homeland and our extended family was eager to show us around Lagos; our port of entry. A few cousins collected my brother, sister and me, and took us to the popular beach in Lagos; known as Bar Beach.

Lagos Bar Beach, also known as Victoria Beach, is the most popular beach in Nigeria. The main beach on Victoria Island is located along Ahmadu Bello Way opposite the Feder­al Guest House. It is usually crowded on public holidays.

We had a wonderful time playing in the sand, listening to music, eating new and tasty fruits and treats, and enjoying a variety of colorful and entertaining cultural dances and celebrations that were typical of the beach in those days. It was quite crowded, but because there were lots of families and friendly people milling around, cooking, eating, dancing, and performing tricks and games, we were on cloud nine and happy as clams. Soon, my sister and I decided to explore the beach together as we wandered off, sand buckets and plastic spades in hand, scooping up odd looking seashells as we walked along the length of the beach.

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choice-less as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Memories: Lost On Bar Beach... a shot of Lagos Island...

We were quite lost in the reverie of our adventure that by the time we stopped to consider where we were, we were quite a distance from our cousins and not sure how to get back. The beach was not only long but wide, and people and groups dotted the landscape, covering every bit of sand. First, we acted as if we knew where we were going, but as we walked along and didn’t see a familiar face, we panicked. Soon, we were holding hands and sobbing quietly because we were lost. It felt like the longest walk of my life and the memory I recall is of feeling quite lost in a sea of bodies and crashing waves… We attracted some attention from a few kind souls who guided us to an information shack at a midway point.

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” Henry Beston

Memories: Lost On Bar Beach... Portion of Victoria Island Beach...

The information booth attendant had a bullhorn and proceeded to announce on the beach that two children needed their parents or something to that effect. I suspect that the message was carried down to the rest of the beach because, a short time later, our cousins found their way to us. They had been in a panic too when they no longer saw us and were searching frantically all over the beach for us. They were concerned that we might have drowned or been taken, but our wandering was our fault. We gathered our things and trucked back to our home; not a peep uttered to my parents; especially not to my mother who would have been besides herself…

Maggie and Millie and Molly and May
Maggie and Millie and Molly and May
went down to the beach (to play one day
and Maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and
Millie befriended a stranded star
who’s rays five languid fingers were;
and Molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
E. E. Cummings

We learned our lesson and never wandered off like that again, but it remains one of my shared childhood memories of a time when I was frightened that I might not find my way home… What are your thoughts? Have you ever gotten lost somewhere as a child? How did you find your way home? Why has it stayed with you? Do share! Thank you. 😉

Positive Motivation Tip: Enjoy your outings but pay attention to your surroundings…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Bar Beach Walk, Lagos Island shot, Victoria Island Beach, via Wikipedia. Resource – Lagos Travel.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

35 Comments leave one →
  1. 31/08/2011 12:02 am

    as the summer months comes to an end….this post made me miss june and july…til next year!

    • 31/08/2011 12:33 am

      I hear you… Here’s to warm beaches and safe walks on the shore in the coming season. TY! 🙂

  2. 31/08/2011 12:56 am

    TY Today’s Poetry for your like… Please leave a link to your blog so I can comment back… Thanks again! 🙂

  3. 31/08/2011 1:28 am

    Love every bit of your childhood story. It feels great to be a kid particularly when at place. A lot of me great memories also involves the beach when I was a child. Bar beach is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • 01/09/2011 9:19 pm

      TY for your feedback dear one… I like the beach and, like you, have wonderful memories too, though not to hang out in the heat… It was a spur of the moment act as children and we were fortunate to be found… others were not always as lucky. Kids do need to be watched at the beaches… TY! 🙂

  4. 31/08/2011 4:24 am

    Thank you for that really interesting post.
    I felt afraid for you when you got lost. It can so easily happen on wide crowded beaches.

    • 01/09/2011 9:20 pm

      Yes, and it happens a lot more than we read about with a wide range of outcomes… We were very fortunate and it helped that were were together; my sister and I. 🙂

  5. 31/08/2011 4:48 am

    I love how kids playing on a beach can make an hour seem like a day because they pack so much into it. I always took my kids to the sea-side for their holidays and they used to spend hours playing with balls, making sand castles and swimming. Lovely memories

    • 01/09/2011 9:23 pm

      Yes, I have those memories too with hours spent building, tearing down and having fun. My own kids were not big beach kids so we spent less time at the beach with them… But my memories are like yours from my childhood. I guess there is a generational thing too; the younger generation are computer driven and games are indoors more.

  6. 31/08/2011 7:15 am

    “The information booth attendant had a bullhorn…”
    – be sure, there are helping hands everywhere …

    • 01/09/2011 9:24 pm

      And there were lots of helping hands around… thankfully! I remember it was so crowded so we were lucky it came together for us that day at the beach 🙂

  7. 31/08/2011 8:24 am

    Lovely story..and remembrance of lesson learned. I love cummings poem!

    • 01/09/2011 9:24 pm

      I’m glad you liked the cummings poem… i thought it was so appropriate to share with the story… TY! Jeanne! 🙂

  8. 31/08/2011 9:22 am

    I wonder why sea reminds our old days.
    The sea may be the mother of creature..

    • 01/09/2011 9:25 pm

      It may be a great reminder of our past too… I find my mind going back to old stories when I’m near or at the sea. TY! 🙂

  9. 31/08/2011 3:13 pm

    What a memory! I got lost at the Dalls airport (It was Love Field, then) when I was 10. Quite frightening at the time.

    • 01/09/2011 9:26 pm

      I can imagine… wow! We were even younger when we got lost… It can be a very traumatic life long fear too. I hope you write about it on your blog and share the lessons. TY! 🙂

  10. 31/08/2011 4:42 pm

    Scary memory. Glad your reunited with your cousins.

    • 01/09/2011 9:28 pm

      Yes, I’m glad we did eventually… My sister and i felt quite bad because we scared ourselves and everyone… My mom was never informed when we got home as she wouldn’t have liked to hear it… TY! 🙂

  11. 31/08/2011 5:42 pm

    A beautiful story told beautifully…. glad it had a happy ending and you are here to share it with us. James –

    • 01/09/2011 9:29 pm

      Yes, I remain grateful that we made it back to the core group and that I lived to share the story… I can take myself back to that place and see the divine hand in our safety… We were fortunate. TY! 🙂

  12. 31/08/2011 6:03 pm

    Glad to hear your adventure on the beach, had a good ending. It remined me of a stories of my own, on getting lost in a few adventures myself as a child. Fear strikes out in these moments !!

    • 01/09/2011 9:31 pm

      Yes, I wasn’t big on getting lost so that one was huge for me.. But it taught me a lifelong lesson to be conscious of my surroundings, and a tad more careful as I grew up. I love to travel and see new places but I don’t take unnecessary risks of adventure… a waste of time really! TY! 🙂

  13. 31/08/2011 7:55 pm

    Thanks for the childhood memory. I think beaches were different in those days: more a sense of community then rather than just being on a mission for the best tan. And, No, I have never been lost–anywhere although I know lots of friends who have stories.

    • 01/09/2011 9:34 pm

      Yes, it was sort of like a community experience and people took the outing seriously… I see the changes when I go to beaches nowadays. But, you know times definitely have changed and people do other stuff… I am not a big roast in the sun beach person, so I don’t stay long if/when I go. TY! 🙂

  14. 31/08/2011 11:14 pm

    Wow, you were both brave. Even as young people, you and your sister loved to explore.
    Glad it ended on a happy note.
    I can’t think of a time when I got lost as a child. But I got lost several times as an adult driving home from work, driving to different places. This was way before GPS. I’d just get in the car and drive even though I didn’t have a map (they confuse me and I can’t read and drive) and my friends describe me as directionally challenged. As long as I had gas in the car, I was never worried I’d find my way back.

    • 01/09/2011 9:36 pm

      Oh you made laugh with your self description… I have gotten lost a few times in my car; especially in California but I figured it out… As long as there is gas, we find our ways. I’m not a big gps person but my sense of direction is not bad… TY! 🙂

      • 01/09/2011 10:39 pm

        You’re welcome, Elizabeth!
        My sense of direction’s gotten better over the years – I’m sure getting lost has helped – LOL.
        I got lost in NJ one night a few years ago. I didn’t have a map or gps and drove for hours before I found my way back to the highway.

    • 03/09/2011 12:09 pm

      Now that would have gotten to me too as NJ is quite the large state… Good thing you found your way home… 😉

  15. 01/09/2011 5:43 am

    I’ve been there. *smile* My husband accidentally jammed my fingers in the car door! So I certainly have memories of that beach.

    • 01/09/2011 9:39 pm

      Okay, you should share your memories of it as it has changed from the time I was there as a little girl, and the look and feel of bar beach as it is known today… I would love to read your take and experience of it… Did the kids go with you or just hubby and you? TY! 🙂

  16. 01/09/2011 10:23 pm

    I was in first grade when my mom, a househelp, and I went to the marketplace. I wandered off (I think!) being curious of the many things around me when I noticed that I couldn’t find either my mom nor our helper. At some point, I thought I saw my mom (who also seemed to gesture seeing me) but when I rushed toward where she was, they were no longer there. At 6 years old, I decided to walk home. I’ve been brought along by my parents to the marketplace to be familiar with what road to take. I guess I proved at a young age that I’m good with directions (in retrospect that is). So after a VERY long walk, I finally arrived home. A proud moment for a 6 year old. A couple of minutes later (or hours) our helper came home crying. When she saw me, a mixture of relief and misery was clouding her face. I didn’t think of the terror and panic I may have instilled on them that time. But now, my mom talks about that incident still with wonderment. LOL.

    You’re such a well-traveled spirit! I wish I could go to foreign places as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • 03/09/2011 12:12 pm

      You were definitely watched over by the Gods and angels… Wow! I can imagine how distraught everyone was… and it’s a great thing that your sense of direction was quite keen at age 6. Good for you! 🙂

  17. 02/09/2011 8:15 pm

    I grew up in Santa Barbara and my greatest memories of the beach are of my father scraping tar of the bottoms of my feet with paint thinner. I used to cry, but now I giggle when thinking of it. Miriam

    • 03/09/2011 12:13 pm

      That sounds pretty painful to have tar scraped off your foot… Santa Barbara is so beautiful… It remains one of my favorite places in California… 🙂

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