All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.
My father is mostly absent from these memories… his fair and freckled skin kept him under the beach umbrella or back at home when he wasn’t rescuing me from the breaking waves or my brother’s torments. I don’t remember much beyond the shock of seeing him in shorts, his legs whiter than white, some goofy looking never-worn sneakers, his trademark black dress socks and the huge mole that grew near his left knee. He used to tease that the little fish liked to nibble on it…
Someone, maybe him, or one of my big brothers used to let me ride on their shoulders in the water, out of reach of the sharks and jellyfish that I was so sure would devour me whole.
I spent a couple hours yesterday watching the same stories unfolding for any number of beachgoers… building sandcastles… bodysurfing… eating tuna sandwiches with a fine dusting of beach sand… the heady scent of Coppertone… all reminding me that this love affair with the sun and the water and the sand is in my blood, even though I burn just like my dad always did.
Any beachy memories to share from your own growing up?