After a Day at the Beach
By Christopher Walsh, November 1988
Many of my summer days have been spent at the beach, playing with the surf, flirting with the huge mass of water that licked and tugged at the sands. I’d swim out into the blue-green sea, then, lying on my back, I would become limp, letting myself drift at the whim of the surf. The waves would move me around carefully, never letting me go. I would always head home exhausted, sandy, hot, sunburned, maybe some jellyfish bits thrown in for good measure; however, I would feel winded in a strangely pleasant way. When we reached home or our hotel, I would take a bath or shower, get back into regular clothes, and set about various mundane tasks associated with everyday life. After several hours, I would get tired and head for my bedroom. There, lying in my bed, I would start to drift off, still worn out from my frolicking at the beach, when the ocean would return, just dropping in to say hi. I would once again feel the gentle waves pushing on my back, lifting me up, then slowly, cautiously, relinquishing support, letting me slowly drift downwards. The sea delighted in having one more chance to rock my tiny body that day, to roll and lull me to sleep in those waves. The sensation stays in my mind, and sometimes, even years after I’ve actually been to a beach, it returns to rock my now much larger body in my bed.
We all need ways to remember childhood. Those waves are one of my means of remembering those early days.
I then made a poem out of it (high school frosh poetry, mind you):
I remember taunting the waves
That yanked sand out
From between my toes
Then would playfully pluck me off my feet
Causing a shallow, muddy splash—
I’d swim outwards
Then ride a wave back to shore
Drifting at the surf’s gentle whims—
I’d return home
Exhausted sandy hot sunburned
I’d wash off at home
Continue with the everyday
After my day at the beach
Lying in bed
I would again sense the waves
Pushing on my back—
The ocean had returned
To say hi.
This writing © Christopher Walsh, 1988. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.