For some people palm trees are just the local trees and the ocean is just their backyard, but to this girl who lives in NYC, these are the essence of pure vacation. I've been traveling to Beaufort, South Carolina every year for about 10 years. It never gets old. The Spanish moss, quaint sea side towns, and slow pace of the south have a familiar cadence and yet every time are full of that exciting rush of "other". Other smells, other foods, other daily habits from where I live.
I've noticed since living in the "big city", being able to wind down takes a few days into the trip not the few hours it once did. Walking slower, talking slower, nothing to do on a warm evening after 10pm on a Sunday... all foreign concepts in the city, but reality here.
This time I felt the ocean strip me bare. Not in a physical way, although the cadence of gentle waves were intercepted by rougher, larger, waves from time to time knocking me off balance and pushing me around. It was a bareness of senses I hadn't felt in a long time. No sound but the constant murmur of the sea and wind. No one here. Alone, bobbing up and down, in an unforced rhythm. Sometimes kicking my feet up in to the crest of a wave, letting my head fall back so the water covers my ears and becomes a roaring hum as the water fills to the drums.
A large shadow covers the sky above me and I tilt back up to my feet in time to see a pelican swoop down at break neck speed, diving into the water, and then popping back up again just as quickly. These huge birds roaming in wide circles looking for prey almost seemed lackadaisical until something catches their eye and they strike, lethal.
The sun's rays baking my face I'm sure, but the breeze keeps me from feeling it.
This moment is precious. This moment is rare. I have to remember this moment for when I'm crushed chest to back, elbow to crotch, in the train at 9 am Monday morning.
But all of the realities of the city are lost in the green blue of the ocean and the deep blue of the sky. No one is judging, no one is watching, just the fish flitting around my feet as I push off the sand and keep head up above the waves.