Fun at the Beach
(( Friday, July 30, 2004 // 04: 42 PM ))
It was kind of a spontaneous decision to hit the beach today. I've been wanting to go since we moved here, but something about knowing it's only a few minutes away made it easy to put off. "Oh, I'll just go tomorrow," I kept telling myself.
Well, today I was out running an errand, and searching for lunch. I walked up to the door of an Indian restaurant and saw that they close in the middle of the afternoon. Right when I got there, in fact! Oh, vegetable samosas... Another day, perhaps.
As I drove down the street looking for another eatery, I thought I'd drive by the ocean. And then I thought I might as well stop. There was plenty of parking available, and the smell of the saltwater was calling me. I parked, fed the meter, and bought a hotdog at the stand near the stairs. Then I made my way down the giant ramp, finishing my hotdog by the time I reached the bottom.
And then... I was there. On the beach! Walking on sand, which felt itchy in my sandals. I took them off and carried them instead, and on my bare skin, the sand felt soft and light. I walked into the path of the water and waited for the waves to catch me. The water rolled over my feet, around my ankles, and it was COLD! The shock and sheer joy of it made me giggle, and I eagerly waited for the next waves to run up the shore. Over and over the waves washed over me. I walked further out, and the waves came closer to my knees. Soon, I was surprised to find my shorts soaking wet! Those waves splash high!! I'd completely forgotten about that, and laughed at myself. I took a few steps back towards the dry sand and let the water splash up mostly around my calves, then my ankles, as I walked through the dizzying waves. The water felt warmer by then, just cool instead of cold, and refreshing.
After a while, I sat down in the sand to dry off and watch the waves, sailboats, and children at play. It felt like time had slowed down for a while, and I tried to remember the last time I played in ocean waves like that. It's been a few years, at least. It's been even longer since I swam in the ocean, let the waves rush over my body as the children in front of me did this afternoon. I made a promise to myself to return to the beach soon, with my bathing suit, and do just that. Visions danced through my head of buying a body board and asking the children to teach me how to ride the waves. Heh. I just might do that.
I built a little sandcastle and drew pictures in the sand while I relaxed and tried not to pressure myself to run home just because I felt I "should." I let myself slow down to the rhythm of the ocean and just enjoyed being there. No rush, no pressure. Just the sound of the ocean and the smell of the saltwater air, which I breathed in deeply again and again.
When I thought the meter time might be running out and that I might be getting sunburned, I decided it was time to go. I grabbed all my things and walked across the sand, putting my sandals on only when I reached the pavement. As I put them on, I noticed someone flying a kite and a seagull flying next to it. I thought it was a pretty normal thing to see until I noticed the gull following the kite. He seemed to be chasing it at one point, almost in an aggressive way. But maybe he was just trying to keep up with it, I don't know. It was pretty entertaining to watch, though!
I decided to climb the stairs back to the street instead of taking the long ramp, which in retrospect, I don't think I'll do again. The stairs go straight up, no change of direction or anything, which seems to trigger my heights phobia in a big way (my brain: "We're still going UP!"). So it was sort of a freaky climb. I felt a lot better once I reached the top, and calmly walked the rest of the way to the car.
I was still a little damp as I drove home, and could feel sand particles in my hair and under my fingernails. I smiled and felt nothing but grateful at the opportunity to have an afternoon at the beach again. I love that I live close to the beach! I really look forward to going again soon!
(click here for more beach pictures)