Sunday, May 6, 2012

On the Beach

My love of the beach started when I was a little girl. Often after church, my parents would pack us up and head for the beach. It was likely a form of cheap entertainment. I remember we had a wicker picnic basket that mom would fill with sandwiches or fried chicken and snacks for us. I don' t know how they had the energy to herd four children, picnic baskets, towels, two beach chairs and an ice chest from the car to the beach and back again, but somehow they did.

There was nothing like playing in the water with the waves washing over me, never knowing when one would take me by surprise and knock me off my feet. Every once and a while, one would grab a hold of me and I would come up sputtering, nostrils and mouth filled with salty water, enough so that I would run back to where my mom and dad sat until the sound of the waves would call me back again.

I remember how it never failed that we would hear certain songs, such as Sunny, as we would drive to the beach. I remember the smell of Coppertone that mom would slather on us as we impatiently clamored to get into the water. I remember that we actually had to wait 20 minutes after we ate to get back into the water. I remember the sound of the small planes that would buzz overhead with advertisements trailing behind the tail or writing words into the sky. I remember the sensation of the pull of the sand each time the water would return to sea and how that feeling would still be with me when I would take a shower later that evening.

I still love the beach, but in a different way now. It's been years since a wave has knocked me over and my favorite time to go is on cool, even cloudy days. Days when I know that there will be very few on the beach with me so that I can walk about as I please.

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