Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I'll take one of each, please!

The thought of missing out on anything within my general purview drives me bonkers!  Certainly this is not a panoramic observation, I'm not so greedy that I reach for everything imaginable.  But within the limited scope of my experience I consider it an obligation to harvest what is available. This afternoon for example I felt duty-bound to go for a bike ride.  Today I ventured on S. Atlantic Avenue southward to Ponce Inlet where the peninsula ends and access to the mainland is no longer possible.  The road narrows incrementally. It is a comparatively quiet ride, predominantly residential. There is an old Florida flavour that insinuates the area, sandy walkways and driveways, stucco houses, many low-rise homes with overgrown front yards. The places looked more habitable than decorative. Though we had driven down the same road last year when first inspecting the area, this was the first time I had cycled as far. I'm guessing my one-way trip was about five miles. Luckily for me there was very little wind today so the length of my ride wasn't adversely compounded by the atmosphere.

I can tell you that when I hauled myself off the mattress this morning I wasn't exactly skipping with enthusiasm. My lower back and mid-section were locked in muscular immobility. It was only after having taken six Tylenol arthritis pills that I was able to rise above the disabling rigidity. I sometimes worry that paralysis is my inevitability. Perhaps just moving about the kitchen to prepare my matutinal protein plate was sufficient.  I also did a few toe-touches and presses off the edge of the counter.

It was around 1:30 pm I collected my bike from the garage.  The high tide was at noon so, with a bit of planning, I envisioned that I might be able to cycle on the beach by something approaching three o'clock.

When I reached the end of the sidewalk in Ponce Inlet, I redirected myself onto a broad beach access (where I talked with an overweight affable guard) and began my trek home à côté de la mer. In comparison to the cycling I did on Hilton Head Island this place is not at all unfavourable. The most noticeable difference is the waves of the Ocean. For reasons I have never understood the sea surrounding Hilton Head Island is far more placid and less turbulent.  Here however there is an endless succession of waves and frothing white foam in addition of course to the very pleasing sound of the surf. Travel on the beach is easy. I am inclined to think the beach is uniformly wider than on Hilton Head Island though it may be a distinction without a difference. There is a decidedly more urban flavour to Daytona Beach Shores, less contrived than on Hilton Head Island where every house on the beach is by design (and regulation) the identical colour (sand). Certainly the environment here is not as pristine as Hilton Head Island.  The context here is more visceral and to that extent more inspiring in my opinion.

In spite of the prolonged duration of my bike ride it seemed effortless to regain the condominium on the beach.  I had diverted myself on my return home by taking videos of the beach, birds and sea. Nonetheless I welcomed the approaching site of the Sunglow Pier as it stretched, luminescent into the Ocean.

Using the convenient beach access which skirts the building I left the beach and quickly stored my bicycle in the garage.  Before heading to the pool area for a hot tub and dip I decided first to go for a swim in the Ocean.  I stored my iPhone, video camera, lip balm and $20 bill on the driver's seat in the car, careful to press them against the back of the seat into the darkness. When I got to the beach I hung my Polo shirt on a rung of the abandoned lifeguard stand and stationed my blue Crocs underneath. There were two guys already swimming in the Ocean, feigning to be surfers. They had parked their shoes and shirts in the middle of the beach. I wondered whether they had any concerns about the security of their stuff.  It seems to be a common courtesy on the beach to respect private property.

I waded into the water.  The tide was still receding so the shore water was low for quite some distance. Then the waves began overtaking me. The water was marvellous!  The moment I dove underwater and tasted the salt on my lips I was in Heaven!  I kept uttering groans of pleasure as I submerged myself in the Ocean. After a lifetime of doing what I had to do, here I was doing what I wanted to do.  I could think of nothing to improve my situation.

Afterwards I sat in the hot tub then swam briefly in the pool.  There was a narrow wedge of sunlight alongside the building so I drew up a chaise longue and lay prone for about twenty minutes. I am certain even that late in the day I got some sun because my skin felt tight.

No comments:

Post a Comment