Sunday, August 12, 2012

Goodbye Jane 1

We sat on party island. The third party island I had participated in during my time at the beach.

But today was the hottest day of the year. The heat pounded down in bright yellow rays of unrelenting sun. And it was wonderful. On days like that the air is invisible; only the land, water, and sun have any meaning.

The water retreats in the morning exposing the land to the sun. The water comes back in, heating the water and enticing the baked people to its rolling surface.

I leaned out the back of the boat and felt the cold surround me. I am not much of one for the water in general—it's usually too cold for me—but the sun had pushed me in. And it was, as always, a shock to the system. For a moment there was only white noise and cold; but never darkness. The sun still penetrated the liquid and I felt calm. And I was out of the water again. Baptized and rejoined with the living. With party island.

I couldn't help but inhale sharply. No matter how refreshing, the water is always a surprising.

It was a Saturday; a beautiful Saturday, free of clouds. To celebrate, we created a party island. That's what we named them. Everyone grabbed their inner tubes and boats and anchored themselves about 200 yards off the shore. This makeshift raft was how we avoided the sharp barnacles and the gunk. The changing tides always bring a long line of gunk—detritus, the proverbial flotsam and jetsam—that must be avoided. With party island avoiding the gunk is easy. Anchor away from the line and if the gunk changes course (as it often does) then move party island.

It is Eden within Eden. A cooler full of beers and good company makes the day wonderful and easy.

The beach house is swaths of color. My head emerged from the dark waters; a neon green inner-tube; an orange canoe; tan skin; a yellow kayak; blue sky; green trees; bleached white beach; yellow sun.

The beach is the place where I feel healthy and young. The sun warms my skin, lightens my hair, and bleaches the wood on the shore.