The cool breeze sent us back home eventually, but not before my granddaughter Mira (two and a half) and I had enjoyed exploring the beach for the first time since winter sent us scurrying inside.

The approach of summer is like the gradual opening of doors. Watching Mira taking in new experiences has the same effect. Through her eyes I see the freshness of the sea, the presence of the gnarled pohutukawa, and the wonder of sand filled with treasures.