I watch people come and go on the shore. The beach has its own flow and routine that is so perfectly timed much like the tide.
People are sparse in the morning, the occasional metal detector enthusiast and the beach comber walk quietly along the edge of the waves. Sandpipers run up and down the edge of the foam avoiding the human intruders with little concern.
The smell of the ocean is fresh and untainted by sun tan lotion and the smell of barbecue that come later in the afternoon. The air is cool and moist, you can hear the waves as they reach and retract, a sound that will be replaced with shouts of children and laughter of families in the surf.
I watch as the sun burns out the colors in the sky. The mist gives way to a clear blue sky with just scraps of puffy white clouds. The exodus begins from the high-rise condos to the beach. Umbrellas start opening highlighting the beach with blues and greens and the occasional rainbow fabric.
Buckets and shovels, towels and boogie boards, families of all different shapes and sizes herd across the long converging network of piers as the day begins. Laughter and splashing in the surf, the fishermen coming back from deeper water and kayaks going out past the pier, it’s noon now and the smell of coconut oil is evident.
The only event that breaks the activity on the beach is an incoming storm. The herd comes back across the piers and there is silence, a drizzle of rain on wooden planks. Finally the sun breaks through again and the activity reverses.
As the day goes on people break into small herds coming back, red and tanned from a day in the surf. Umbrellas start disappearing and the crowds at the pools start forming. The smell of sun tan lotion is replaced by the smell of barbecues heating up.
It is much like the tide, a constant flow and ebb. There are patterns in nature we mimic whether we realize it or not. Watching a day unfold on the beach, feeling those hours of truly being present, It was a wonderful week and I have so much to say about a day at the beach, I will cherish these hours I truly relaxed in time with the ocean tide.