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Notes From The Shore

It’s a warm morning on Hilton Head Island. The forecast doesn’t appear too dire in its heat index so should be a pleasant degree of summer warmth today. The path to the beach itself is beautiful to intake.

I never tire of the foot path that leads from parking to the shore itself. The pillow-soft sand is framed on either side by sea bushes interspersed with purple blooms, white blooms and palmetto fronds.

Far to the right and to the left I see wooden boardwalks stretching over low lying marsh leading to the beach. Up ahead I hear the whoosh of the sea as waves come and go. I stop, discarding the hindrance of my sandals so I can feel the sand. My toes point down into the sand, burying in its warmth as I walk. When I reach the beach, I stop. There is a moment when the scene greets the eye and demands appreciation. To the left, the blue beach umbrellas provide the pale sand landscape with a vivid color splash. Straight ahead, the Fuel Surf School instructors intermingle with the Spinnaker Surf Campers. The longboards jut up in the break of the waves as determined students paddle forward to ride the break. The beach itself is so calm. The only pervasive sound my ears hone in on is the sound of the ocean as the waves break, flow in, and ebb back out. The sun’s rays are spread out like wide fingers reaching downward creating beautiful dancing flecks on the water’s surface. I step into the surf to watch. The warm ocean water licks my ankles. Proud parents stand with me, cameras aimed to catch the novice surfers in their glee as they pull upright on the boards and ride in. I too aim my camera at the crowd. There are successes and there are misses. Truly, it doesn’t appear the misses are too disappointing to those clutching the surfboards. I’m sure they’d rather be riding each wave in synchronic motion with the wave’s fluid glide towards shore but nonetheless, they look unfazed by their rookie ability. One wobbles off the side before both feet plant firmly and another never quite catches the wave’s push and just grips the side of the board watching the other’s attempt. I see smiles, chatter and groups commingled bodies in the water while gripping the side of their surfboards. I smile at their joy. It’s a good day to be on Hilton Head!

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