Warm sand between my toes, the pounding surf in my ears, the hot sun kissing my (UVA/UVB protected) skin…Why do I love the beach so much? I don’t live that close, but it’s not that far either- one hour can get me to the Atlantic coast. Having lived for years in the desert, many miles from the nearest beach, makes me appreciate this a lot.
Puerto Rico, Antigua, Jamaica, Colombia, Mexico, Hawaii, California, Jones Beach right here in our little corner of the earth…all heaven on earth to me. I have never slept as soundly as on nights camping out at the Mexican shore. It’s the ocean breeze and the semi-rhythmic surf washing in and out that form a soothing lullaby. Every sound during a day at the beach is deep and resonant- the children screaming, the teens’ music, the vendors’ calls (“Heyyyy, ice cream, chipwich, frozen fruit bars, Snicker ice cream!”) reverberate along the thermal heat waves. I’m not sure why, but it feels kind of tribal to me; like my body senses “home”.
Something about the beach also brings out extremes in me. When I pack a lunch meant to be eaten around noon, I find myself ravenous and devouring my sandwich within thirty minutes of arriving. I drink large quantities of ice cold, refreshing water. When I go for a little walk along the shore, I wind up wandering for miles before turning around. I can stare for hours at the waves, and I can sit for hours just absorbing it all.
Recently a friend came with two of her children from Seattle to visit. I had a long list of “must-dos” for the kids, who had never been in New York before. Well, weather and other things intervened, and it looked like we would not wind up doing much from my list. I’m sure everyone got tired of hearing me repeat, “if nothing else, they have to see the beach; they have never seen anything like it. I don’t care if it’s raining, we are going to the beach.” I won. We dragged ourselves to Jones Beach, and the kids had a great time; especially the nine-year-old, who demonstrated natural boogie board skills.
Having never lived on the beach, nor spent more than a lovely week in a row there, I’m not sure if I would like to make a beachfront property my permanent home. As I have written in a prior post, I love seasons right outside my door. I guess this could change, but for now, beaches are for lovely vacations and day trips. On Thursday, my husband and I will be stepping aboard the fast ferry in New Bedford to begin a long weekend on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard with a great friend and her two amazing young ladies. I can hardly wait!
Here is a link of someone’s idea of the best beaches in the world…putting them on my list!
And some photos of beach days…