Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day at the Beach

Initially this morning I hadn't planned on bicycling today.  My lower back was killing me. I reasoned that it might be wise to take a break especially as we had cycled extensively each of the past three days.  However after my sustaining protein breakfast (and when the pain killers had kicked in) I changed my mind. But I only cycled along Longboat Club Road to the north security gate then turned around.  The sky was clearing nicely, the temperature rising.  As this is our last full day here I felt it was an ideal beach day.

I wasn't set up in my beach chair overlooking the Gulf of Mexico more than a few moments before I reaffirmed this spectacular day. Privately I yearned to recap my visit to Longboat Key with yet another layer of icing! Everything had conspired to elicit the most poetic effusion.  The buffeting wind propelled the white sand hissing across the face of the beach. The song of the sea birds rang with the clarity of fine crystal. The sun dazzled on the emerald water of the Gulf topped by frothing white surf. Imperceptibly the edges of the beach chairs were softened by blowing sand curling about their base. The powdery sand drifted into my Crocs where I had stored my hotel key and sunglasses; it blew into my hair and around my eyes.

Yet I was very comfortable lying on the beach chair enveloped by the elements, warmed by the sun.  Occasionally when a cloud moved between me and the sun I put on my T-shirt and soft, light hoodie.  Soon however the clouds were swept away and I returned to baking in the sunshine.  My face, arms, hands, legs and feet were burnished by the sun.  The colours at the beach were striking. They were heightened by my lime/yellow trunks, the nautical blue and white towels, the white beach sand, the emerald green water and the cerulean sky.  Adding to the palette of colour was the noisy arrival of what strangely appeared to be members of an ascetic religious order. There was a gaggle of young girls and several supervising women. They were dressed in anachronistic cobalt blue gowns with white bonnets which fluttered madly in the wind.  The children were ecstatic to be at the beach. They scrambled in and out of the sea, chasing seagulls, screaming and squawking.

Sporadic drops of rain fell from swiftly passing dark clouds. The raging wind commingled fine grit with my suntan lotion and the gooey balm on my lips. There was even grit in my mouth between my teeth.  The brilliant sunshine burned out from behind the clouds.  My skin tingled. The wind tousled my hair. It was a sensational feast! The Gulf roared, churning and splashing. When I closed my eyes my vacant thoughts were sparsely populated by only a white orb of light, drifting, drifting.

The drowsy midday sun imperceptibly moved across the sky then gathered comet speed as it started to descend and head to the horizon. The life of the day started to wane. Meanwhile a dedicated beach buff positioned himself in a beach chair close to the waters edge intently staring straight into the glistening sea.

Reluctantly late in the afternoon I conceded the end of the day was approaching. I pryed myself off the beach chair, collected the towels and headed to the pool for a final baptism in the pool and hot tub. There I chatted with the pool girl who is pointedly from Alabama where the pivotal Senate election is being held this evening.

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