Two weeks living on the ocean’s edge, the only constants in my day was the sound of pounding surf and sand on my feet, a morning swim and bike ride to get milk or meet the ferry as more family arrived, filling the wagon with luggage and boxes of food, a walk along the shore, beach volleyball, afternoons riding the waves, beach yoga, shucking corn, beach dance music, eating peaches, beach runs, ice cream, laughing, moonlit swims, and letting the clock hands fade for a brief time-less span. Our only agenda, unwind and restore.
Fire Island is a narrow outer barrier island off Long Island, New York, about 30 miles long. You arrive via a passenger-only ferry and once there live in a car-less world. For me, and my LA kiddos, for all of us really, this departure from highways and traffic is paradise. The whole maze of island towns are connected by walkways which run either down the center or cross from the bay to the ocean. We learned to stroll like natives during our short stay.
We also learned to bike on the right. To navigate on two wheels the wooden boardwalks of Saltaire and beyond. To watch out for the crossing deer who populate the island. To visit relatives or cruise for ice cream or shop for dinner via a bike. To ride slow enough to notice the birds in the jungle of brush.
Beach gifts were plenty as was the space to be with each other. A whole world set up for gathering with family. A population on vacation. Stopping at intervals long enough to enjoy the visual beauty. To dig into a point. To remember an anecdote. To relish in the sea breeze and smell the salt. To hear a seagull.
Our family gatherings seldom have everyone in attendance, but this one came close. Travel by airplane and car, train and ferry, regardless of means we united at the same place for a blink in the sunshine. A collection of strong individuals all bending to fit together under one roof, to share one table, to co-exist guided by love. Not an easy task but a compelling one. In the noisy moments we laughed without question, in the quiet we felt the crazy string that binds us.
After the storm, the ocean showed her might and held us off. We witnessed the roar and might for a rainy day but before and after the Atlantic lay flat and invited us to float about in the salty calm. The healing waves restored us to who we had forgotten we were and dared us to remember who we might become.
Sky broad and vast and forever reaching toward the horizon. Gentle pastels or rich vibrancy, the whole bay alive with color. The super-moon shaped the dark sky and lit a silver path. We spent whole days and nights gazing upward and we undid ourselves together.
Our family time was filled with celebration. Nighttime antics illuminated by jumping for joy. Darkness denied by the lighthouse, our constant guide.
In the center of our tribe is our matriarch. A powerhouse as she faces each dawn. An inspiration as she allows us to be who we come to be.
As we disperse back to our separate lives our footprints fade from sight along the fleeting shoreline but remain etched in memory to last the time apart.
*Many photographs are mine but for those that aren’t, photo credit goes to numerous family members. You know who you are. Thanks for sharing your beautiful vision, xxoo
13 thoughts on “Ocean Respite”
Love this post. We do the same things (almost) each summer at Pawleys Island, SC. Doesn’t everyone need time to unwind? reflect? restore? Thanks for the terrific pics!
We are indeed the lucky ones. Time at the water’s edge is the best!! Thanks for stopping by, xxoo
Oh, how I miss the Eastern beaches with water one can swim in, “beach food”, even the cheesy T-Shirt shops, etc. The family beach trip is a hallowed event, etched deep in memory.
You got it Bill– we ate plenty of “beach food” and were lured into EVERY tee shirt shop we found! Come East & Swim!! xxoo
Thank you so much do sharing. It looks like pure fun and happiness. Beautiful!
Yes, plenty of joy!! Thanks for noticing!
After reading your posts, I always feel as if we were chatting over a cup of tea and you shared what was going on in your life!
Will and I just returned from two weeks in Provincetown, Mass. It was most restorative….time by the ocean invigorates our essence!
Thanks for the “visit”.
Oh, I love the ocean surrounding Cape Cod! Glad you make the trip north, and enjoyed!! xxoo
What amazing photos! I need to do an east coast trip soon. You got me excited for our little beach trip next week. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Any coast will do!! xxoo
it was glorious..thanks for making it so and then posting this….love, #6
PS i think aunt pats ‘none cents girl’ is worth considering…. 🙂
none cents… that happens when I don’t write a blog!! loved our ocean swims xxoo
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