Just above my computer screen are the wild dunes, home to gopher tortoises, anoles, geckos, and who knows what. Many of the sea oats have reached four or five feet in height and there is even a large cactus right in front of me.

Here on the patio, the crows and snowy egrets come around to beg for food. To my left, the outdoor shower next to path leads to the big attraction. It’s loud, rhythmic, and mesmerizing.

It just started raining, again. The area has been stuck in a rainy pattern. Some locals think not having days of non-stop sunshine is the apocalypse.

Now, it’s pouring, so I moved inside. The roar of the waters from the heavens have drowned out the roar of the great sea from which they originated.

That reminds me that my favorite thing to do is to walk the water’s edge. Every morning, I have my first cup of coffee on the patio with Patty and the second one in a commuter cup walking the beach for about two miles.

I pray. I marvel at my surroundings. I encounter characters. I try not to look at shells, so I actually get some exercise, but I always am distracted by shells anyway. But mostly I splish-splash. I feel like a young child trying to splat in every puddle.

It is a just right combination of natural beauty and wonder, the tactile feeling of the sun on your back and sand under your toes, and the rolling tinkling of the shells that were once home to an unbelievably vast variety of little creatures. That’s great backdrop for observing, praying, and just being.

I have had many interesting conversations with people along the way. These encounters happen in the earlier morning and usually toward the public beach. Once I encountered an itinerant evangelist who had quite a life story and had made some sort of shrine in the sand. A couple of days ago, it was an honest-to-goodness beach bum, tall, lean, tan, long blond hair holding his paddle board. There have been many conversations with fishermen. Occasionally, I hear another language.

I usually come back with a story about people or nature to tell Patty.

There is something about splish-splashing. Something good.

I wrote this week we were vacationing on the Florida Gulf Coast in May and June.


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