Sand Patterns

Twice every day the water of the sea runs her fingers through the sand, leaving tell-tale patterns. These repeating patterns display in clear sight some of the hidden energies within the water. Everything the water touches is changed in some small way by the interaction, but often we can’t see or don’t notice.

On this stretch of sand the sweet fresh water of a stream carves a channel into the sand each day. It’s pattern and shape reveal the flow of the energy running from the land into the salty waves. Twice in the day it’s pattern is lost, washed away into the body of the sea, unneeded as the ocean licks the stream bed in the rocks above the tideline. Yet it’s shape persists as the moon driven tides surge and fall in their own steady patterns.

Here the firmly held shape of sandstone rocks merges into the shifting free grains of sand, with no clear edge. The energy of the waves rubs gently but persistently at the rocks edges. The green seaweed holds onto water for a while, after the rain falls or the tide drops. Slowly the water is released, leaving trailing patterns running from the rock into the soft sand. Every drop merging back into the body of the ocean.

Just like the water, we leave patterns and trails around us as we move through the world. Sometimes we have repeating patterns which flow from us over and over. Patterns of action, emotion and thought, filling the spaces around us. These patterns in turn touch and effect everything they come into contact with. They flow into the lives and worlds of others, sometimes unnoticed, unseen, unrecognised, and yet powerful.

All of us have an effect on the world and those in it, even when we say or do nothing. Silence makes its own patterns and soothing shapes. Stopping for a while to see if we can notice any of the clues around us can in itself re-shape the patterns around us. I always feel a little different when I have slowed down and taken the time to look at what might be unfolding around me. Mindfulness brings me into a deeper recognition and connection with life itself.

You can see more photographs of patterns at the Weekly Photo Challenge.

And more photos of beaches at Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack Challenge.


About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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93 Responses to Sand Patterns

  1. С’est bizarre je pensais écrire un pedtit post identique à celui là

  2. Ѵivement un autre poste

  3. web page says:

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  4. Un іntense bravo à l’auteur du sitе web

  5. Оn remarque toht deе suite que vous connaissez très bien le thème

  6. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  7. Mazigrace says:

    Awesome photographs. I am so captivated by sand patterns as well. Thanks for sharing and stopping over at my blog to check things out.

  8. “… the sea runs her fingers through the sand… ”
    “… Just like the water, we leave patterns and trails around us as we move through the world. …”
    Beautiful!! As are the photos.

  9. livvy30 says:

    I love the last shot!

  10. Wilfredo says:

    Hi to every body, it’s my first go to see of this website; this blog includes awesome and actually fine stuff in favor of readers.

  11. senimahar says:

    Nice interpretation … photos too, ty

  12. Mary Mageau says:

    I enjoyed this lyrical post and the photos that expressed the prose so well. The beaches of Scotland all look so beautiful, yet are totally different from our beaches in Australia and the South Pacific.

    • Thanks Mary, lyrical is a lovely description. I imagine that the biggest difference between Scottish beaches and those in Australia, must be the temperature, of both air and sea 🙂 but that keeps them nice and quiet for most of the year…..until the school holidays in summer.

  13. marob23 says:

    Lovely photos as always and thought provoking.

  14. Excellent shots! Our younger daughter and I were in Edinburgh some years back and greatly enjoyed, although we weren’t able to get out and see this sort of thing. Hopefully some other time…


    • “greatly enjoyed it” We were only able to be there for a few days, but had a blast.

    • Thanks Janet. There’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh that it can be hard to find the time to leave the city. However there is so much within just half an hour that its well worth the effort required to drag yourself away 🙂 hope you make it back soon!

  15. Love. These are amazing.

  16. wisejourney says:

    thank you for your words that talk of silence shaping patterns…my food for thought for the day…Andrea

    • My pleasure, enjoy the thoughts Andrea, and let me know if they lead you anywhere fascinating 🙂

      • wisejourney says:

        I am in need of a little silence as for the past days I am surrounded by the chime of family with little space to manoeuvre into for me…it will come in time and I look forward to the silence I enjoy shaping thoughts for me….I will let you know where it leads 🙂

  17. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Pattern: Roofs | Flickr Comments

  18. ladyfi says:

    Wow – stunning photos. Somehow getting stuck in a rut looks good (if you’re a beach), but less good for us human beings…

    • I know, those ruts and ridges are yummy, they feel very satisfying under bare feet. I’m always drawn to them and the rhythm they hint at. I guess we need some repetition, some ruts, in our lives, but just not too many. Another lovely comment, thanks Fi.

  19. As I read your words I though of videos I have seen which were made using thermal imagery. As the warm body of the (human) subject passed through the cooler environment … the former generated a wavefront which disrupted the latter. In another way you are correct that we leave other sorts of waves as we pass into our futures. Do all of these various waves freeze as soon as the future becomes the past? Or can the diminished waves of our past permeate and influence our future? What happens when our present meets with our past? Argh – I shouldn’t think this way too late in the day! Once again though you have pleased me with both images and words. D

    • Very generous as always, it’s good to hear the combination of words and photos was pleasing 🙂
      In my head as I read your questions I saw the round ripples flowing out a Ross water after a stone has fallen through it. They energy dissipates slowly, even returning after it hits the shore, weaving into the other waves…..never created, never destroyed I guess it must echo forwards and backwards in time 🙂

      • Yup. Echos … diminishing as a logarithmic function … still there but decaying rapidly with time and distance. Also, your images brought back my logarithmically-diminished-memories of summers spent at the beach … low tide was one of my favorite times … it allowed treasure hunting below the high tide line! D

      • And the perfect spot to discover a mollusc or two 🙂

  20. Wow!!! AMAZING shots!!! Really excellent take on the theme! Cheers!

  21. Laura Crean says:

    I have nominated you for 3 WordPress awards because you are AWESOME! It’s just for fun so you don’t have to accept but if you do – follow the link to my awards page and join in the fun.

    • That’s so kind of you, thanks. I feel very humbled that you selected me for three awards. I will do my best to get round to doing what needs done when I have time…..and in the meantime thank you 🙂

  22. What a stunning collection of ocean made patterns, lovely!!

  23. Amar Naik says:


  24. Lily Mugford says:

    I love the patterns in the sand, your photos are wonderful. I too used the sand patterns as one of my photo challenge entries. I love the randomness of the patterns, never the same the next day.

  25. Opalla says:

    Both you photos and your words are beautiful! Where is this beach?

  26. A really nice set and words

  27. Wow! Just love that first shot. Nicely done.

  28. spannerr says:

    Ohmigosh! Woww! Just Wow! Where in Scotland were you?

    • The first three were taken at Gullane, and the fourth was on the next beach along, at Yellowcraig. They are beaches on the shores of the Firth of Forth, in East Lothian, Scotland. Just a little east of Edinburgh, 15 minutes from my house.
      I walk the dogs there regularly.
      Thanks for your very enthusiastic like of the photos 🙂

  29. Very beautiful photos!

  30. John Coleman says:

    Lovely blog. Great photos. Thanks, John

  31. Maxim Sense says:

    This could be, I have no doubt, the best interpretation of this week’s theme. One of the best shots of how nature had carved out its own pattern.

  32. sued51 says:

    Love your interpretation and your photos. Thought-provoking…

  33. The beaches on Scotland made us feel very reflective as well. Hopefully we’ll be able to spend more time there in the future. Your photos are lovely! Thank you for sharing them!

  34. ritarivera says:

    fantastic photos! I love Scotland…one day I want to live there. – rita

  35. What a beautiful way to help us focus on the more subtle things in life, which is not always that easy to do… The metaphor of sand and water is very inspiring, and so are the photos!

  36. dorysworld says:

    Such a beautiful post, reading your posts and gazing at your lovely photos is like a deep relaxation session … thank you 🙂

  37. Liana says:

    beautifully seen and beautifully said…I feel like I’ve had a meditational walk on that sand this morning…such a perfect way to start Mother’s Day…and a happy one to you 🙂

    • I’m so glad you walked along with me 🙂
      Happy Mothers Day to you….we had our one back in March in the UK….feels like a long time ago now that winter is finally gone!

  38. Deepa says:

    Gorgeous pictures and words.

  39. Tina Schell says:

    Beautiful shots Seonaid! I love your closing thought.mwell said!

  40. colonialist says:

    Profound thoughts, and I have spent many minutes staring at those pictures. Your beach is so … different! It seems allmost alien, like I found the quality of the light at the top of Skye..

    • Thanks for the great compliment. I always think that if a photo can hold our attention for a while it must have something quite interesting and arresting about it 🙂
      I know what you mean about the light up in Skye….well really all along the North West coast of Scotland….and then East Lothian definitely has its own special light. I have a thought that it might be because it juts out into the North Sea, so there’s lots of reflected light in the air?
      These photos were taken during winter, a couple of months ago, so the light is quite soft ….

  41. Mike Howe says:

    Beautiful thoughts and photographs of a beautiful beach 🙂

  42. These photos are beautiful!

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