It was a perfect day at the beach.
Sunny. The tide was out and the wind was down. Waves were present and predictable. I spent quite a bit of time in the water today.
We started our day with a walk on the beach at 6:15. The water was calm, the light was beautiful, and the mosquitoes were out. There were a couple of other humans on the beach, many birds, and tons of shell litter. It was clear from the bird prints that any protein left in all the mussel shells had been picked clean by the gulls. I got Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going" stuck in my head seriously. "I had me a man in summer time, he had summer colored skin..."
Home to urge the girls out of bed. They didn't love my rendition of "Dear Prudence" - but the sun was out and the sky was blue, it was beautiful and (well, I'm their mother) I think they are too - So breakfast, laundry, and off to the beach.
Hotter today at the beach because of the lack of wind, but we stayed in the water, bobbing like corks, riding the waves, and getting boogie board rash. Ah, the beach life.
I made it two hours before my heat-and-salt-o-meter went off, and I headed back with the girls to shower and make lunch. But I promised myself one last beach before the day was over.
And I got it. At 3:00, I headed back to the beach all by myself. I had a chance to stand in the water and think about this summer - the water kept me afloat as I rose and fell with the rollers coming in. There is a lot to think about. I've read some excellent books and some perfectly lovely junk food reading, I've been under the tutelage of master teachers, I've met and collaborated with teachers from all over North America, I've watched my daughters grow and assume new responsibilities, I've spent time with good friends, I've learned things about my own reserves and feelings, I've come to appreciate my extended family for the care they give each other, I've enjoyed food and wine with friends, and I've changed as a teacher and as a person. This summer's experiences have changed me in so many positive ways. And as I stood at the beach, packing up to go back to the house to get ready for dinner, I was sorry to say goodbye to LBI.
There is plenty to greet us back at home in Evanston. Sam turns 50, Emily starts YAMO rehearsal, friends from the Faire are in town from Minneapolis - and we need to buy school supplies (It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year).
Goodbye, LBI - It's been a real pleasure. Thanks Bob and Claire (my In-Laws) for making this all possible.