The soft breezes finally came after all that rain. The waves tucked in and lengthened across the sand bars allowing the young ones to play in small lagoons formed at the shoreline. The sun got hotter, the sand, what’s left of it, got warmer, and the ocean looked friendlier. Yes, it seems that almost despite Mother Nature, summer has indeed arrived.
Families gathering, generations coming together, teenagers showing off, grandmothers sitting with blankets on in the sun. Crinkly noses burned by long days, ruby red sunsets with an occasional dolphin or whale swimming by languidly. These are the days we dream about during those dark dreary winter nights; these are the days that bring us back to what it means to live at the beach.
We have new ferries, new boardwalks, new shuttles, all that’s great, but really the opportunity to get up and simply walk a block or two to paradise doesn’t compare with any of that. The opportunity to be with your family, your brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, to be with your clan is strongest in summer. Past slights are forgotten amid seagulls squawking away at the sky above. Clouds drift in and out and across in no discernable pattern. A football is tossed out into the ocean, someone dives into a wave, and the clink of a top being flipped open. Maybe there are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and an aunt reminding everyone to wait a half hour before you go in for a swim, God forbid you get a cramp!
Someone takes a kayak out, maybe a stand-up paddleboard, the sun starts its slow descent; the breeze feels a little saltier. The clouds part to let the sun find the horizon and in a burst of orange and red disappears behind the deep blues. But it doesn’t get dark yet because the soft glow continues for another hour or two before slowly the parents start to drag their chairs, coolers, umbrellas and finally kids off the beach all to be rinsed down by a hose that has been warmed by the sun. The grille starts up and hot dogs and hamburgers start flying off immediately into the hands of the youngest red-faced companions.
The night breeze is cooler but feels good against the sunburned skin, especially as jokes get funnier and faces get wrinkled up in laughing fits. Stories are exchanged; memories shared, hugs and kisses to relatives who now must make the long trip to the mainland. Climbing into bed the sheets feel electric against the sun and wind-tested skin. Thoughts drift until they become dreams, and you can still feel the waves lifting you up as if you were still out riding the tides. And finally sleep comes, and doesn’t release us until the next morning when that beautiful summer sun greets us again and says to us, yes it’s summer let’s enjoy this time together and create memories to keep us warm and happy during those colder, darker times of the year.
Ahh, welcome summer; please stay as long as you like!