Of wind & sea

Some of the most pleasant dreams that I’ve had recently have been about the beach. When I was younger, my grandparents owned a camper that they kept on a lot in Myrtle Beach. The campground was right on the beach so the shore was just a few hundred feet away from where we stayed. Nearly every summer my family would go and stay for at least one week. Sometimes my grandparents would take us (me and my three sisters). I think the last time I went was in 2005.

I have many, many memories of those weeks spent at the beach. There are a few that actually aren’t that pleasant. I have the type of skin that doesn’t really tan; I’m either ghostly white (my sisters endearingly call me Casper) or I burn, even with SPF 60. So there were a few times that I ended up with a bad sunburn. Then there’s the time I went face first off my bike and scraped my lip up terribly. And let’s not forget the 8 hour one way car trip it took to get there.

But the good things far outweigh all of that.

I grew up around mountains. The Appalachian mountains, to be precise. It was, is and may always be very strange to me to look outside and not be surrounded by them. Maybe that is why one of the things that has stuck in my mind for the longest time is standing on the beach, with hardly anything around deserving of even being called a hill, and looking out over the ocean as a storm rolled in. Being able to see for miles and miles out and view the sheets of rain falling down, heading for the shore left an image that is practically burned into my brain. Most people would probably despair at the sight of rain on holiday but I loved it.

Another favorite memory is when we would take our inflatable rafts out beyond the breakers and just float. There is just something about drifting in the immensity of the ocean, rocking with each swell as a new wave rushes in but never being caught in the breakers that is both exhilarating and calming. Of course, there was also a thrill when you did ride the breakers in, often getting overturned in the process.

And the wind. The wind. I wish I could just stand on the beach and listen to the wind. I remember it being so strong but warm. It has a completely different sound there that’s hard to describe, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve heard it.

I’m not terribly surprised to find myself having very vivid dreams of being there again. Beaches are painted as one of the ideal getaways, the paragons of peaceful retreats. Heaven knows I could use some peace. And I dream of all the glorious photos I could take. That’s usually what I’m doing in the dream: looking around, drinking in every moment and photographing everything. The colors are what I see most, particularly of sunrise and sunset. Pale gray sand, the blues, greens, and whites of the waves, the purple and reddish tints in the sky… it spells bliss.

One of my goals for the next few years (less than 5) is to be able to take a vacation and stay a week or two in a house by the beach and do absolutely nothing that I do not want to do. Have a true vacation. My husband will be going, of course, because he’s never been to an ocean-side beach before.