Monday, January 05, 2015
Waving goodbye to the beach
I've been visiting with people who object to the beach: it's windy and wet and dirty and you get sand in your car, and besides, it's dangerous. There are sharks! Or you could cut your foot on a sharp shell or step on a manta ray.
It's been a few years since I last stepped on a manta ray, but I've done it and lived to tell the story. I have also cut my foot on a sharp shell and bled all over my shoes--but again, still kicking. And what's a little sand in my car compared to the vast expanse of sand and waves at the beach?
In answer to the person who asked me why anyone would want to go to the beach in the middle of winter, here are my top ten reasons:
10. Cool weather = fewer people, mostly sturdy northerners who view anything above freezing as balmy.
9. You can plop your towels down and leave your shoes and a bag full of stuff sitting on the sand while you dip your feet in the water and it's all still there when you get back.
8. Squadrons of pelicans skimming the waves at sunrise.
7. Sitting on the sand with a bird book and studying the differences between gulls and terns so they are no longer an amorphous blob of birdhood but start to distinguish themselves as individuals.
6. Watching tiny sandpipers, the Keystone Kops of shore birds, scampering away from an advancing wave.
5. The waves the waves the waves. Watching waves does something miraculous to my soul, and the sound soothes all tension.
4. Any book is twice as good when read on the beach.
3. The delight on my husband's face when he finally found a fully intact sand dollar.
2. Walking barefoot in the sand with my sweetie.
1. Waves + wind + sand + shells + birds + books + sweetie = sweetness and joy and warmth enough to get me through the long cold winter, or at least a good part of it.
We paid our final visit to the beach at sunrise this morning and then hit the road for the long drive home. We expect to see snow in the mountains tomorrow, but we'll still have sand underfoot to serve as a sort of reservoir of warmth as we journey north.