It was a line above a photo on face book that caught my eye and resulted in the writing of this post for
shirlandyou. It read, “On The Way To The Beach,” and the photo showed the interior of a van filled to capacity with happy people. My family were not shore people and as a child I don’t remember going to the beach. I did stay with grandparents at Harvey’s Lake and enjoyed swimming there. Some people, though,
are drawn to the beach and they go every year. I think it must be the smell of the sea and the feel of the sand. Some go because they can see the horizon from there. This I can understand if they live in the city, but I can see the horizon looking out my kitchen window. And the sand? How do you get it off your feet, so you can put on your shoes and not bring it into the car?
Ask people why they go to the beach and you’ll hear some of these answers: “It’s free (well, it used to be,) it’s outdoors, there’s a good breeze and its sandy for
building castles.” Don’t get the idea that I am not a beach person, I love walking on the beach and building sand castles is fun and creative, and it’s on the beach where it’s most fun to fly kites. One year, though, we went and the beach was covered with ugly jelly fish. Another year, after being hit by the ravages of a bad storm there was literally no beach left. Regardless, the boardwalk is fun, for a day, anyway, and I love the cool, sea breeze.
In the early morning we rent bikes and ride to the other end of the boardwalk for breakfast. By ten o’clock, however, the sun begins to heat up and an air-conditioned room sounds good, again, until the sun goes down.
When our family was young, we always headed North to camp in the Adirondack Mountains. One summer, we took along bikes for all of us. Can you picture
seven bikes on top of the car? Somehow my husband built a rack that held them there. While stopped at a soft ice cream stand (we seldom missed stopping at any of these) someone asked, “Are you an act?”
Before the day of sunscreen, my husband, who is very fair skinned, would, rather reluctantly, take us on an occasional short trip to the shore. But while the rest of the family soaked up the sun and played in the sand, he stretched out under the boardwalk. How’s that for enjoying the beach?
Plainly, we are simply not sun people, so that leaves out the greater part of the day at the beach when people enjoy sunning, Nor do we enjoy fishing. It’s obvious, though, that hundreds of people love just putting their toes in the surf, pulling their hats over their eyes and tuning everyone and everything out for a while. I always thought it would be wonderful to grow up near the sea, and learn to sail, swim, ride the waves, and fish. But I’m a mountain girl, maybe that’s the
reason I grew up disliking the heat of the day. So instead of going to the beach, we always headed North. Was this the perfect spot to vacation? Not perfect. I, well. remember the summer we left on a camping trip, in June, only to be greeted by snow on the top of White Face Mountain.
The pull of the sea is easy for me to understand. I fully know why so many of you are drawn there every
summer. Do you remember the poem, “Exiled.” by Edna St. Vincent Millay? It may be these very words that go through your mind as you pack up the family for a vacation to the beach.
Searching my heart for its true sorrow.
This is the thing I find it to be,
That I am weary of words and people
Sick of the city and wanting the sea.