Some years ago, the beach was broadened. After Sandy, the dunes were further built up and fortified, and our hand-waving, voice to cupped-ear mode of communication was permanently cut off. ( iPhones have proven to be a considerably less desirable mode of dispatch when lolling in the sand.)
We sometimes miss the early days of the toss and catch, of the easy bring down my glasses, or we forgot the beach bags shout, but the dune grasses weave a beautiful silver lining on their sandy thrones. Sitting on our beachfront balcony, sun worshippers and families on the other side of the dunes remain unseen and unobtrusive. One can easily imagine oneself the only soul at the shore.
Early mornings when I sit with my coffee, books and writing necessities, the tumult of the world recedes and it is easy to find peace. The constant lapping of the waves reminds me to let go, to feel the presence of something deep and eternal, something more abiding than the tumult of our singular lives. It is true that the ocean sometimes rages. Waves thrash and beat the shore with a fierce and threatening anger. But unlike many humans, the ocean always returns with her soothing, steady, chant of peace.
A few mornings ago, my grandson and I walked to the beach early in the morning. Except for a few fishermen, we seemed to be the only ones awake. We raced, buried our feet, made shell-shaped sand cakes with seaweed icing and collected sun-bleached treasures. Finally, our hunger got the best of us. Go home? my grandson said and it amazed me that the house we had barely unpacked was already home.
At two years old, my grandson already understands that home is where we feel safe, where we are surrounded by love beyond measure.
Much has changed since we first starting coming to the house at LBI. But still and always, the sea remains constant. It's good to have you home, she loudly proclaims or softly whispers. Be at peace.