Depending where you live, “the beach” is referred to by different names such as “the coast”, “the sea-side”, “the ocean”, “the gulf”, “the other side” or “the beach”. These are all the names I recall having heard during the past 53 years. As long as I can remember my family has lived near, or relatively near the beach.
My first memory of being in a body of water is when I was about one year old (is that even possible to have a memory from that early in life?) My memory is quite simple: lots of water, a white row boat, my youngest older brother (I’m the last of five kids), and my parents. My sister and two oldest brothers must have been at home with a babysitter? That’s my memory.
Then we jump to the age of four years, when we lived in Pacific Grove, California by a massive body of water- the Pacific Ocean. My father was mostly in Vietnam at the time, so Mom had her hands full with entertaining five children, which wasn’t so hard by the beach in California. My sister collected sea glass, I was enthralled with the sea lions and Mom made sure we all ate our picnic sandwiches.
Next we moved to Panama from Virginia when I was seven years old. We traveled to Panama on a ship called the Cristobal. ( my second oldest brother would warn me not to swim in the pool on the ship because the octopus would reach up through the drain and pull me into the ocean the same brother also told me that in Panama the cows moo in Spanish) Panama was the best of both water worlds. On the isthmus of Panama the drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean took a total of 20-minutes, and that’s if we didn’t stop for empanadas on the way. Pop LOVES empanadas! We had two boats in Panama and rented an island. The boats were an 18′ white sailboat and a 23′ inboard motor boat called the Circe. The Circe was a beautiful powder blue. We didn’t scuba dive but we did skin dive and spear fish. Well, my brothers spear fished.
Now I’m 10-years old and we left Panama and moved to San Antonio, Texas, a mere two hours from the beach. Pop was on his second tour of duty in Vietnam when Mom took us to the beach in Port Aransas for the first time. I got to invite a friend and my sister got to invite a friend, not too sure where two of my brothers where, my oldest was in Vietnam. Any way, a my sister was in the surf with her friend when a huge number of dolphins swam near her. I think Jesus and my sister are the only two known individuals to walk on water. Actually, my sister ran on water. When you see a fin break the surface do you 1. really want to take the time to see if said fin is curved like a bottle nosed dolfin, or 2. RUN on the water to the safety of sand?
This has been a very long explanation for my love of the beach and everything entailed: the boisterous clouds, the water life, the waves ( size does not matter). When I’m at the beach, I’m in my ‘zone’. When I’m in my zone, I fully realize just how small and inconsequential I truly am. Thank you God, for making beaches.