There are no clocks on a beach. It’s a timeless zone. One can’t imagine a time when there were no ocean waves crashing onto to the sandy shores around the globe. Who truly knows the millions or billions of years the oceans have existed? Did God say, “Let there be oceans,” or did a process of a cooling part of an exploding star start a billions-of-years process that eventually yielded oceans? Are there only oceans on earth? These are great questions.
What I do know is that I enjoy sitting in my beach chair at Atlantic Beach in Amagansett, just yards from the breaking waves. The ocean breezes at the beach on hot days are heavenly. A dip into the breaking waves always brings back great memories. Memories of my parents holding my hand and then of when my grown daughters were still my little children and I held their hands. Most of all there is an energy coming from the ocean that has a placating effect on my soul. I believe I do some of my best thinking at the beach.
At sixty-something, I do lots of sitting on beaches. I hardly ever sit alone. My wife Cindi is usually within feet of me. She usually is not sitting but standing in the surf of the breaking waves. This thrills her to no end. If the waves are gentle, then she swims through them, but never when it’s rough. The other day she said something I guess all south shore Long Island lifers understand. She said, “We live in a beach community.”
I have been breathing ocean air for the last twenty years. I have lived in five locations but none of them more than a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, a few of those years 452 steps from the breaking waves. When I was growing up in Westchester County, I always wondered what it was like to say, “Hey, I think I will drive down to the ocean to finish this coffee!” People do that in the Hamptons a lot.
There was a time when it was a big deal to get to the ocean. It took a few hours of driving or even a plane ticket. It was always amazing either getting off the plane and breathing those first breaths of tropical ocean air, or getting out of the car and feeling that first face blast of ocean breeze!
Heck, I enjoy that ocean air face blast all year ’round. I even do it when it’s way below freezing. In fact, I love walking or even cross-country skiing along the breaking waves after a big snowfall. I don’t take being able to do these things for granted; I didn’t always live near an ocean.
When you are young life seems so long and as you get older it just gets shorter and shorter. I am glad that all my successes and mistakes have landed me within minutes of the Atlantic Ocean.
I remember standing at its shoreline just hours before Hurricane Sandy. The ocean’s fury and energy was wild that evening.
To this day I still get a kick at watching folks who don’t live near an ocean standing at the foot of the breaking waves and just smiling. I remember as a kid how it felt to see that forever horizon and feel the foam of the surf eroding the sand beneath my toes and feet.
Living by the ocean all these years has changed who I am. Although I sail in Gardiner’s Bay, I live just 2 miles west of the breaking waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I see seagulls high in the sky every day. My Long Island born wife has taught me many positive things about living life full time on Long Island. It just has so many pluses. All lives have an expiration date, but there are no clocks at the ocean.