Thursday, August 1, 2013

footprint in time

Hi! How's your footprint in time?

I went to the beach today, the pond beach - not the ocean beach. Started clinicals early morning, worked til 3. Home, puttered in the garden, but was at the beach at 4:30.

Bliss. Sun, water, and pine trees. There were maybe 10,000 people at the ocean beach on Monday- a mostly cloudy day! And about 50 at my pond today. Quiet and sparse, just the way I like it.

And those 50 were mostly packing up and leaving when I got there, leaving empty expanses of sand and water. Singles and small quiet clusters of people. Wind, water, and sun.

I don't know how many people were at the ocean beach on Monday, but it was a lot. We sat in lines: shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip. There were strangers in my bubble. The motel manager told me that the population in the summer is 150,000.

So it was bliss at the pond. Big bubble, sun, and loons too. I got in the water and felt the hot sun on my back, the cold water swirling around my knees.

Then a family arrived. Three teen or pre-teen boys with floaty toys. Oh no, was my peace shattered?

Au contraire. I took great pleasure in their company. They were kind, playful, witty, and happy. They interacted joyfully. One brother appeared to have Down syndrome. So what? So maybe he taught his brothers compassion. I don't know. How would I know?

Anyway. I never talk to strangers. Wait, I talk to strangers all the time. Yes, for my job. When I'm off and off exploring or at the beach, in public, I never talk to strangers. Felt oddly compelled to speak to these people. Groan. How embarrassing.

I was cold and hungry. It was getting towards evening. I gathered up my things. The father glanced at me as I walked by. That was my cue. I was off on a rant...

"Hi, I'm a mother of sons and a teacher and I've worked at a teen camp and I just want to say that your boys are sweet and wonderful and so amazing and it's obviously great parenting."

He looked surprised and said, "Really? We were so sure we were bothering you. It was all quiet and then we came and they are so noisy and they splash around."

I probably repeated my first statement. Then I walked up towards my car and said the same thing to the mom. She said the same thing as her husband.

That's my footprint in the sand for today. 

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