Simple Beauty

I am looking at the edges of the earth. My panoramic view is so spectacular that it is rounded off at the edges. Even better, it’s the Gulf of Mexico. Better yet, I am sitting on the patio of the villa we have rented for the week.

The warm Gulf breeze, the roar of the sea, the beach shower, the trail through the sea oats to the main attraction, and  the encroaching glare of the sun that will soon begin it’s spectacular plunge into the sea…well, I love it! I have been dreaming of it for over two years. 

I like being a beach bum. Wardrobe: one pair of short for the ocean and another dry pair to slip on around the condo. Simple. Necessities: book, towel, sunscreen, water bottle, beach chair. Like I said, simple.

The place is spectacularly simple, relaxing, and inspiring.

We have had the privilege of vacationing on the ocean seven times and have been here five times. “Here” is a little-known barrier island between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. It is one the last slices of “Old Florida.” New Florida indicates over developed areas with lots of high rises, fake attractions, tons of people, gated communities, and the destruction of natural habitat. “Old Florida” means no structures over two stories and respect for nature. 

This island is almost totally private. Some of the uber-wealthy who live here would like that. But about a third of this seven-mile long, narrow sliver is home to old-timely motels, condos, a big public beach, and a county park. Guess which part we stay on. 

Split-splatting in the edge of the water, fighting with the waves (They always win.), and soaking in some vitamin D are my favorite activities. Shirts are for special occasions, and as an acquaintance reminded me years ago, brown fat looks better than white fat.

A sailboat just floated by under the low late afternoon sun.

I have no words of wisdom today. But I am reminded of the beauty of the cabin in the woods we just left behind in the North Georgia mountains and the very different beauty of this place. 

If you get the opportunity to travel, do it. Try the ocean.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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