Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The beach, jellyfish and a little white lie


It is not quite beach-prime weather in all the ways one would imagine, but it felt close enough. And with the yo-yo'ing of this spring season, from days of autumn chill to a sprinkling of days like summer heat, we were willing to take what we could get. And so when it hit 80 degrees at 11 a.m., we put on shorts and took it. 

The drive up 17 pushes us gently from side to side as we turn and hug the corners of the road. And our sweat is a gentle kind, different from the sweat of summer which causes one's shirt to stick to one's back and shorts to the back of thighs. We are traveling over the hill, past homes shrouded among trees, past people's driveways too close to the highway (how do those people turn left to get to work in the morning??). And the feeling is one of relaxed, casual excitement. 

The beach presents us with miles of sand to run across, with a shell-speckled tide on one side and expansive, window-full beach homes hanging over cliffs on the other side. As we run, those lounging on the beach follow us with their eyes in the same way one would watch the tide, not really watching at all. As we run, I watch the houses and note the building materials of roofs, the very many different kinds there are to choose from. And I take note of those running with their trainers on and scoff quietly to myself -- shoes! ha! -- and feel pity for those that cannot appreciate the miracle of running on sand, the soft squishyness that is so good and gentle to my knees. 

And then Alan steps on a jellyfish and says he wishes he wore his shoes. And after giving my inspection of the injury, I tell him they are blisters, water blisters, from the moisture in the sand. When he looks disbelievingly at me, I add that I have had water blisters before and keep nodding until he stops looking at his foot all worried-like and starts running again.

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