I know, I know, I’m always talking about the beach. But see what I find there. Beach valentines.
And the colours! Wearing lots of green beach jewelry lately. When I swim it wraps around my wrists and tucks itself into my suit so that I find it when I get home, still in the suit or on my floor or even in my bed. Always makes me smile, like I’ve gotten away with something, finding beach treasures have snuck home with me. The other day it was a teensy little crab leg, tucked inside my bikini top. Either you just said “Ew, that’s gross,” or you got it. Once years ago I found a tiny little fish had slid into my suit down by my hip. Poor little thing. He had a look on his face of surprise and “oh no”-ishness. That one was a little ew, but the good thing was I found him while I was still at the beach. Sometimes my eldest and I still imitate the surprised look he had at finding himself in there.
Yesterday I was swimming and I saw one of the families of mergansers (or birds, if you like simplicity) coming along, still with eleven babies. I stayed quiet and they came pretty close, this raucous little group of teenagers practicing their diving. I think there were eleven. Wondered where the mom was but just then she popped up a few feet away from me with another little fish in her beak which she tossed back down her throat. With her belly full she eyed me and then rallied the troops around her with a deep clucking noise. They all pulled in behind her and formed a pack and she quickly escorted them away from the weird beach woman.
I go to a very small beach close by where I live, a very wild and natural beach, and I’m often one of just a few or on my own there. When I float on my back in the water I look up and look at three specific tall trees that grow beside it. I call them the Three Sisters and they’ve come through some tough stuff with me over the years. They’re always so solid and impassive. It’s not that they don’t care –although they don’t! They’re trees!– but they sort of make me feel like I should get over myself and get on with it. I lie on my back in the water and feel myself go quiet, in a good way. I’ve been wondering how I can get a picture to try and paint them from. Not happening without a waterproof camera. I stare and stare at them trying to memorize their shapes and details.
Here’s another view I love, lying on the sand looking up. Look at those greens glowing!
Last night I lay on my driveway with my eldest staring up at the stars and talking. We have some comfortable loungers on the porch we could have been on, but the tradition seems to lead us back to the hard sloping driveway. The cats complained pitifully from the porch until the nuttiest one threw herself off to bounce/fall through a bush and then down to weave and rub her way between us. Saw a few shooting stars. Another summer thing.
Years ago I read a book set earlier where people spent the summer trying to preserve every bit of the bounty they could, setting it aside for the coming winter, not just because it was so good but because they had to. There was a line about even popping the last berries into pop bottles, I guess with vinegar, and using every container possible to hold something. That’s how I feel in these amazing summer days. I have to gather all of these beach moments and other summer things that fill me up and make me feel so happy and tuck them away for winter. When I’m at the beach I just look and look and look, trying to notice everything and tuck it away.