The Difference Eleven Hours Can Make
Disclaimer: Just before leaving home, I decided to throw my camera case in the car. Due to chronic, “iphone-itis”, my Olympus E-420 spends most of the year safely tucked away in its Pelican case, along with some lenses. This morning, I took over a hundred photographs prior to and at sunrise and had several that would fit this story well. When I came back to upload them to my laptop, I discovered that the card reader for the Olympus was not in the case and is probably (hopefully) in my top desk drawer, back in Aiken. Luckily, I did take a few photos with the iPhone and can prove that I was there.
Last evening, the beach routine began when I ordered a fresh garlic, spinach and tomato pizza from NYC Pizza. it was as awesome as anticipated and I’ll have the rest, reheated for lunch today.
After letting that settle a bit, I headed over to the beach around 7:30pm as I didn’t have any other plans and wasn’t sure if I would get there again during my short stay as the weather forecast is a bit uncertain. I was surprised to see the number of people there as darkness took over from the day. I didn’t feel the peacefulness that I had in years gone by. I couldn’t sense the negative energy leaving my body through my feet in the surf. It was just a beach. The air was thick and felt oppressive.
Disappointed, I returned to the condo and decided there was no reason for me to go back there while on this trip. The magic was lost. Another part of me added to the ever growing, “used to be” list.
On the lighter side, there were two, beach weddings/receptions taking place in adjacent resorts, so close that it looked like one, big wedding, but it was not. The music from both outdoor receptions was competing for which could be louder and had I been the “daddy/method of payment,” I would have been more than a little agitated as they were two very different crowds. I had to laugh out loud as one of the couples was introduced and the music they had chosen to walk in as husband and wife with was the beginning of Ozzy’s “Crazy Train.”
If they only knew, eh?
This morning, I woke up at 0508 and having no dogs to let out and feed, decided to go back to sleep. My mind, however, which apparently was well-rested, decided to take over and there was no need for me to even try to fall back asleep.
I recalled a day back in 2005 when we were staying at Alicia’s brother/SIL’s house on Nantucket. It was the week that President Ronald Reagan died and we sadly watched his interment on TV as the sun set behind the California mountains. . . the last strains of the sun seen in the mainland, USA. The following morning, we got up very early and watched the sunrise at Nantucket. . . the earliest sunrise (it was like 4:30am) in the US. There was something about that trip that called me back to the beach this morning at 6:30am, almost 45 minutes before sunrise.
The lesson between ends and beginnings is on display daily. Some days, like our lives, are calm and some are a bit stormy.
But, there always is another day.
As I made my way through the dunes, the competing sounds of the music and wedding partiers were replaced by silence. There was a cool, onshore breeze and less than a dozen early risers in view. I could see the beacon on the lighthouse down the coast on Tybee Island, GA. Scant bits of pre-dawn light were visible around the offshore clouds.
I felt it. What I could not locate the night before, was now back in my grasp.
As I sat on the box that holds the beach chairs that the lifeguards would start renting out in just a few hours, I looked around and watched as more and more people made their way into the beach for the grand unveiling of a new day. I got to talking with a young dad who brought his one-year-old daughter to the beach for the first time. They were from the UK and had recently moved to suburban, Augusta GA where he was working at the Army’s new, Cyber-Command Headquarters. Soon, his wife and toddler son joined us and the kids were sand-covered before 7am.
I continued to sit, thinking, but watching the families and couples on the beach. The memories of fifty-eight years of good times, bad times, triumphs and embarrassing disasters played out in just a few minutes. I left all the “what-ifs, should have, could haves” in the surf, hoping they’d wash out to sea, at least for a while before they would manage to find their way back to the cobwebs of my brain.
Relying on the cleansing nature of water.
We never actually saw the sunrise this morning as some menacing storm clouds were just off to the East, obscuring daybreak’s entrance.
There was, however, the light of a new day and frankly, that was enough for me.