Yesterday I made my way to the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. I stopped at a few retail places as I got close, I always asked for directions to the ocean and everyone answered the same, as if they'd all had a secret practice, "Make a left on 3rd St. , head straight to Beach Blvd, make a right and you will run right into it".
And I did.
As I got closer to the coast signs of Hurricane Matthew were all around. The landscaping, trees, especially the palms, all looked as if they'd been in a 10 round boxing match with a worthy opponent.
The trees, bushes, even the lawns, were tired, weathered, bruised. The streets closest to the water were populated with large mounds of sand that had been collected by city crews with heavy machinery. Some streets were still blocked and city crews were in the area working on the mini sand dunes.
It was cloudy and very windy.
As I got closer to the ocean, the sky darkened, the wind intensified and a mist of persistent rain welcomed me at the beach. The side street I randomly selected to park was next to a sculpture garden sponsored by the University of North Florida. It was too windy to take pictures, I will return for sure. As you can image there were big fish and dolphin sculptures, I was immediately smiling in my head and heart.
I walked across a small park, a few people were there. I finally got to a wooden boardwalk that leas out to the actual ocean shore. The water extremely restless, almost seemed the ocean was angry or frustrated. There were no wave patterns, they broke right, left, waves over waves, almost impatient. The wind very strong, blowing in every direction, my raincoat hoodie fighting to stay in place.
The sky a significant pastel grey.
I stood on the boardwalk for 5 to 10 minutes and took deep purposeful breaths. I tasted the wind, the salt, the mist of the rain. It was wonderful ! ! !
I love the water, the motion, the force, the different personalities of currents and wave patterns. I love the music, every wave calling, signing, wanting to be heard. For those few minutes at the water's edge, I was home.
And always, there is a family from somewhere way up north, perhaps Canada, in the water. As ugly and cold and windy as the day was, a family, a Mom, Dad, and two children were wadding in the water, jumping over the rush of the waves. They were in their own version of happiness. Perhaps it was their first time at the ocean, their first taste of sand and sea. Imagine the thrill.
I have another body of water to meet: the Saint John's River. I look forward to making friends with the river. I'm scheduled to start rowing classes at the end of October, a six week course on Saturday mornings. Will certainly provide updates when that time comes.
In Jacksonville. dogs can visit the beach legally, before 9am and after 5pm. HORRAY HORRAY !
Maddie I know will lose her mind. I look forward to the day when I can take them to the beach, early. Uncle Toby is coming to visit soon, that will be one of our outings for sure. Morgan was at the ocean long ago when she was a puppy, not sure how much she will like the water's edge. Will see how it goes.
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