We hit the beach last week. A last hurrah before we bid farewell to Summer.
It was cold and foggy, with a little drizzle on and off. We picked Swee up at school and packed into my little RAV, and off we went. There were maybe a dozen cars in the lot when we arrived, and I almost wished we hadn’t come.
And then when we walked down onto the deserted beach, it felt a bit like coming home. I grew up spending weeks at a time on the Jersey shore. Not the shore on tv, but a sleepy island town with beautiful white beaches and wholesome families on vacation. Where the horizon stretched for miles and all you could see was water and sky. The beach here hasn’t felt like that, what with the rocks and pine trees on one side, and the rocks and islands on the other. But last week, blanketed in fog with the hurricane-induced waves crashing on shore, it felt like my beach, and almost like home.
Home. How do you get to know a place the way you know the places you grew up? The smells and the feel, almost right, and yet not. Can you intentionally cultivate the knowledge of place that’s naturally born of being a child somewhere?
We didn’t bother with bathing suits, and just slathered sunscreen on any exposed skin before walking the sand in hoodies and pants. The girls clambered on and around the driftwood structures left behind, and chased the huge flocks of seagulls. We jumped in the waves, soaking our clothes, and then stripped the babies down to their birthday suits, little white hineys running and laughing along the shoreline.
I hate leaving the shore, and always stop to breathe deeply before settling my melancholy into the car. When will I get back?