Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sandestin #1

First time at the beach

We arrived at Sandestin in the early June, but it felt like August. The sun forced us to go to the beach. White, soft, fine sand. We are at Sandestin with Brandon, Sheryl, Maddie, Ella, Sam and Judy. We headed to the beach as fast as we could get there. The waves sounded distant until we were right there at the shoreline – then they roared. The flag was yellow, meaning moderate surf. I liked the idea that the waves could be a little dangerous, but not super dangerous.

The water depth can be measured in color at the beaches of Sandestin. Tan water is very shallow, light green water is a little deeper, teal water is deeper still, then dark green and blue is the deepest. We got into the  light green water and got a feel for the waves. Having children present with the age range from 6 to 13, it can be a little challenging to know who can handle what so far as waves are concerned. Sam and Maddie stayed closer to shore as I went deeper with Sierra, Canaan, and Ella.

We played games with the waves. We jumped over the waves. We taunted the waves. We moved and danced with the waves. Chest deep in wavy water is a fun and occasionally vulnerable position in which to be. No matter how hard we tried, we kept getting mouthfuls of salty seawater. We tried to stand our ground, but the pushing and pulling of the waves made sticking to any position for very long a complete impossibility. We were guests of the sea, but also its playthings.     

Running on the Beach

I ran on the beach – 3 miles or so. Even the morning sun was not the least bit shy about scorching the earth. It was hot. Unlimited humidity made it hard to breathe like I usually do when I run. But it was beautiful. The sounds, the green-blue sea with frothy whitecaps and curling, crashing waves made me want to keep running. Birds, sea type birds flew around, some looking for food, some just flying around decorated the beach. A marlin jumped out of the water and glistened in the sun. A beautiful fish. I wanted to catch one.

Sand is a hard surface on which to run. The sand closer to the water is more solid and flat, but also gets repeated covered in water. The waves keep sneaking up and claiming little bits of beach as the tide rises. Sometimes a wave sneaks up and floods my shoes. I am not annoyed because I am running on the beach. I know the risks. Sometimes the larger waves travel in threes and push each other further into the beach. Yesterdays sandcastles look like Mayan ruins, silt-filled motes and deteriorating structures. When a strong wave pushes over dry beach, a thousand bubbles fizz up as the water replaces the air in the sand.

The beach is not level. It slants toward the water. My ankles complains as they are the first to notice the slant, but I remind them that we will not always run on the beach. We must all make out sacrifices. The skin on my face makes the same complaint while running in the winter. Sometimes I have to remind my body parts that this is a team effort.

I will run on the beach some more. I like it here.

Also, Jimmy Buffet is making slightly more sense to me now – slightly.

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