Not on the Beach!
“ But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean.” (H.P Lovecraft)
Unfortunately our family beach week just ended. It was another successful seven days filled with plenty of beach walks, castle building, wave jumping and an abundance of laughter. Ocean kayaking was added this year.
My love for the shore started when I was a preschooler at my Nana’s cottage at Point O’Woods Beach in Old Lyme, Connecticut. This was where I first learned to respect the power of the ocean and we eventually became friends. Responding to an invitation to the open sand as the foam of the waves retreated, I would hesitantly scurry past the concrete seawall before the next incoming waves crashed against the barrier. I remember the excitement that I felt when I was safe on the other side and could climb onto the smooth rocks to look for snails and mussels clinging to the ropes of shiny seaweed.
It didn’t matter where I went. The ocean always welcomed me and on each trip I learned something new. The wide sandy expanse of Clearwater Beach was a great place to perfect my sand drip castle and to practice cartwheels with my sisters on our annual family spring break trips. In college, my sorority sisters and I took a road trip to Daytona Beach and we learned not to put our towels in the path of the vehicles cruising by the water. During my junior year abroad in Spain, the Mediterranean Sea was my new playground by day while the local discos lit up the night.
Later as parents David and I introduced our children to various shore locations on our summer vacations and the beach tradition continued. Nag’s Head North Carolina, Ocean City, Maryland, Stone Harbor, New Jersey, and Marco Island, Florida each held its own special memory and we made sure to take pictures to preserve them. Those photos are so precious to us.
And now my new husband Tom and I are introducing the next generation to the beauty of the shore as “Pops” and “Mimi”. Our grandchildren, Max and Charley are developing their love for the beach and each year they get a little more bold and venture further into the surf.
For me, there is always so much to look forward to. I get excited for the whole week before we go as I pack the sand toys and towels. And then, I feel very sad when I see the shoreline in my rear view mirror as I cross over the bridge towards home.
This year I noticed something that disturbed me, an overwhelming presence of electronic devices competing with the beach experience. I agree that technology makes our lives easier, but we need to be careful not to let it interfere with nature and all of its splendor! I myself did embrace my children’s multiple cell phone pictures that I could enjoy instantly rather than waiting for a hard copy and my own new digital camera caught some wonderful moments too. Of course, I will print them out and make an old fashioned album. But….on my frequent beach walks I noticed far too many intrusive cell phones being used for possible frivolous conversations and I observed quite a few bowed heads and busy fingers sending messages while missing what was going on right in front of them!
What dialogue could possibly trump a pod of dolphins passing by just off shore! Whoops…they are gone now.
The young girl in the bikini missed the horseshoe crab that momentarily washed ashore and then got sucked out again into the surf. I guess she didn’t care. It was a beautiful specimen.
And the lucky seagull that came up with a fresh fish after dive bombing into the clear blue water went unnoticed by the young man in the baseball cap diligently typing away on his keypad.
Perhaps instead of keeping my thoughts in my head, I should try texting the ocean. It might look like this:
Kim: Hey Ocean, here I am, great morning. 🙂
Ocean: They are all great. LOL
Kim: OMG rode in a kayak yesterday on your waves!
Ocean: I felt you. Sorry about the big one that tipped you over. 🙁
Kim: No problem. Just some bruises and a suit full of sand but it was worth it. :>)
Ocean: I just wanted to give you a good ride.
Kim: It was. Got to keep walking. B4N
Ocean : Cya
Now didn’t that sound silly? Maybe some things should just be observed and stay in our heads. I guess I am old fashioned in some ways, but it works for me. I don’t need an iPod on my beach walk. The water sings to me. I don’t need to text a friend about what I am seeing. I am there and she is not. I don’t need to call my sister during my walk to speak with her. It can wait and besides I don’t know the number and I don’t want to miss anything!
But I do take pictures, print them out and make sure they are dated. I learned that from my grandfather. The years go by quickly and the photos help to keep the memories in order and alive in my heart.
I am home now, so I can tell everyone who wants to hear all about my Beach Week and show my pictures! And for those of you who do not, you don’t have to worry about deleting a text or a message! I didn’t send one.
Write me if you want to hear more! But just don’t do it from the beach!