Last summer a good friend invited Kathy and I down to Emerald Isle to enjoy a stay at the beach. The house was located on the beach with its own boardwalk out to a gazebo with stairs down to a path to beach; for this old sailor and former surf bum, it was close to heaven. The next few days were filled with laughter and fun with Tom and Bernadene as we lazed time away enjoying the beach and just relaxing with good friends.
As our time to leave approached it seemed that I needed some alone time to just enjoy the sound and smell of the surf. I awakened at 4:00 AM and got dressed (well, as dressed as any sensible person does at the beach), went downstairs to make coffee, then went out to the gazebo to sit. It was pitch dark, some lights scattered up and down the beach from the different houses, but looking out over the ocean was without any light source. While I could hear the waves and occasionally glimpse the froth of the surf, it was as if I was within a warm, salty cocoon.
As the sun showed itself, my wife and friends came out and we all sat and just enjoyed another day at the beach. My wife kept asking me why I was smiling so much; I would just shrug. The memory of that time still fills me with wonder and does not fail to bring a smile to my face.