This is the first time in almost five decades I won’t be able to wander down the beaches of York. It is no one’s fault, including my own, but this virus has made it necessary for us to sequester ourselves in our homes in order to defeat it. I have to admit I’ll miss my wandering and observations about how beautiful a place we call home is.

Just like in the past, the weather has finally turned.

And for me, that has always meant it was time to dig out my old dilapidated beach chair and see if it would survive another year.

I found it behind my lawn mower and under a pile of assorted tools whose uses I had long forgotten.

It was covered in dust, but I could see colorful streaks of blue beneath the gray. As soon as I dragged it out into the light, memories of summers gone by filled my head. I have no clue as to the age of my old beach chair but I can’t remember a summer when I was without it.

Not far from where I had found my chair, I would find my summer sandals. These rarely lasted long because my daily treks from the house to the beach had a tendency to wear off the soles. This particular pair was going into its third and probably last season. I especially loved them because they didn’t generate the early summer blisters before I walked my feet back into shape.

Halfway to the beach my body would be wondering why I had become suicidal in my old age. The chair on my back had created a welt on my shoulder even though it weighed almost nothing, and with each step it bumped against the back of my thigh, producing a bruise that I knew would take weeks to heal.

I finally arrived at my destination, I would open my dilapidated old beach chair and set it down where it belonged. Then, with ceremonial slowness, I lowered my body into the soft, welcoming canvas. I sighed a sigh of relief and, for the longest time, simply stared out over the immense, shimmering emptiness of the ocean. I was home and, for the first time in many months, I felt knots of tension against the cares of winter start to ease out of my body. I discovered again what it was like to be at peace and to do nothing but listen to the rhythms of the ocean.

Looking out at the unfathomable horizon I had only one thought: What new adventures would come my way this summer? I closed my eyes and felt the sun on my face. Only time would tell and, now that I had found my place on the beach, I had all the time in the world.

I just hope my future will be an image of my past and I will be able to talk about the day they opened our beaches up.


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