Sand, Salt, and Memory–New York, NY

I write this from my cluttered urban living room where too many projects in various stages sit in chaotic piles, while my air conditioner’s fan attempts to mask the fact that my apartment has no way to circulate the fresh breeze that sits just beyond my windowpane.  But last week I sat in a beach chair with my toes in the warm sand as a steady breeze zipped by. Covered in spray sunscreen and sea salt, I smiled as I watched the waves roll in toward my daughter and her cousins as they frolicked  at the water’s edge.  Sometimes you just want to bottle those moments.

I subscribe to Coastal Living. Each month, a beautiful new issue arrives in my mailbox (in the land of pavement) and transports me to a world of deep blue ocean views and crisp white decor, along with gorgeous photography and jealousy-inducing travel reviews.  A recent essay in the March issue by Alice Hoffman, In Search of Summer, was so wonderful and striking that I ripped out the page and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since. Having just returned from our last days at the beach this summer, I thought of the essay and dug it out to re-read.  Hoffman recalls whiling away her childhood summer days at the beach, and that “the memories of [her] glorious summers were an antidote to dreadful New York winters.” But most gripping was this:

…summer still doesn’t exist unless it’s spent by the shore. We carry the dreams of our youth with us, and my dreams contain sea grass, clouds reflected in the water at low tide, salt on my skin, lemonade, striped umbrellas.”

Of course I’m a New England gal and this really resonated with me.  Do you have strong memories from summers at the shore? Is it something that stays with you during the entire year?  5 more weeks of summer left–get to a beach and soak it up!

“Can of Worms” Raft, Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Kaitlin Brandt - August 8, 2013 - 9:39 pm

I’ve been thinking about this idea all week! I feel like summer’s over now that I’ve returned from the shoreline, despite gorgeous weather and a trip to the pool. Glad it’s not just me.