Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beachy Keen, Day 1

I leaped - 90% gracefully - over a tiny stream of water after I rounded a tip of the island. Lighthouse in view, I wiggled my toes in the sand and moved forward again, eager to get a closer look of the charming structure that warned the multitude of boats not to get too close. I was busy with thoughts as I walked, pondering conference call content that had forced me to awaken before dawn, trying to plot my return to efficacy at work, and deciding whether attempting to date again would be the epitome of foolishness or wisdom. Sending looks of distaste their way, I avoiding stepping on any of the (many, many, many) dead jellyfish and pounced eagerly on any shells I thought were pretty or interesting.
Pleased with my progress, skin warm from sunshine and muscles loose from walking in the sand, I continued to place shells in my palm, examining them for quality before curling my fingers around them protectively. I stopped to take a photo of the lighthouse, admiring its reflection in the pool of water to my left while the waves crashed at my right. The water was cold, I decided when it began to lap gently at my feet, but after the initial introduction, I welcomed the fleeting touches. After plucking a shell from under the water, I glanced around and realized I had very little land left.

"Huh," I said mildy, momentarily picturing a daring rescue as I bravely fought the rising tide before someone came to my aid. Deciding such an event would mean the loss of my carefully selected shells and the ruin of the camera that dangled from my wrist, I pivoted to hurry back to the tiny stream that had gained me entry to the rapidly diminishing bit of sand that still sparkled brightly in the sun. The water made pretty patterns as it overtook the land, streaming with greater volume from the ocean inward. I forced myself to ignore shells and sighed when I finally reached the considerably larger stream.

Prancing through the waves at the shore, I giggled helplessly as I raised my arms to protect shells and the photos stored inside my camera and splashed through the shin-deep water. I clamored (90% gracelessly) back to land and looked behind me as the ocean continued to inch toward the pool of water that awaited it across the thinning line of sand. Pants wet to the knees, I belatedly tucked shells in my pocket that held the room key and moved toward the lighthouse again, this time safely away from both pools of water. Deciding I was shifting from pleasantly warm into sweating and hot, I took a final photo and headed back the way I'd come.
Already being wet, there was no reason to just flirt with the water so I sloshed through the saturated sand as the waves lapped at it. I chirped greetings at the older couples who now shared the beach with me. I yipped with alarm when I realized a small crab-like creature (I don't know) wanted the same pretty yellow shell that caught my eye. I let him have it, moving quickly away on my tiptoes so he couldn't harm me with his teeny-tiny claws.

When Friend finally woke, my pants were hanging on a chair outside and I explained that I'd become wet after getting stranded on the sand. After mostly ignoring her patient explanation of tides, I returned to my book and soon decided I was tired. Not eager to nap on the semi-comfortable pull-out sofa where I'd fitfully slept the night before, I curled on the now-empty bed and, still able to hear the waves and smell the sea, slept.
Some three hours later, I blinked myself awake and wondered where she'd gone. I was just returning some calls I'd missed when she returned to place her pile of shells next to mine on the table. We both read until I complained that I was hungry and wanted seafood - not bread and cheese - so we pulled wind-tangled hair into ponytails and brushed sand off of shorts and shirts before setting off to a little place that came highly reviewed.

After thoroughly enjoying a cup of bisque - oh, the cream and the bourbon and the seafood perfection - I blinked at the amount of food that had been placed before Friend.

"If," I told her, "it was a sea creature and could be fried, I believe it has come to your side of the table." She nodded, busy with a bit of blackened grouper before moving on to scallops, shrimp, oysters, calamari and crab cake. It wasn't long before she admitted defeat to the fried sea creatures, though my crab-stuffed shrimp had long been pushed aside, and we returned to our rooms to sip wine while bundled up on the balcony, watching cargo ships pass within feet of each other as they headed in from and out to sea.
She's now inside where lights glow brightly and I'm nearly ready to join her. Out here, the blanket is making a valient attempt at keeping me warm against the cold winds in the darkness. But sometimes a retreat is the smartest way to go.


DocElectron said...

This sounds so dreamy... I have a stab of gorgeous-sand-and-salty-water envy right now. Although you really need this right now - so enjoy to the hilt!

Psych Post Doc said...

Sounds amazing. I can't wait for my vacation next week. Yay for warmth, the sun, and the beach. Enjoy.

rented life said...

love the pics, I'll be on a beach in April but you're making me wish it was now! I love looking for shells.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad you're taking a break!!

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