Winter Beach

I stepped out of work and felt it, that urge, that need: the ocean. The coast has always had my heart, but there are times when it’s undeniable, when I just have to grab a cup of some hot tasty beverage and venture down to shoreline. Last night was one of those nights.

It’s the beginning of January and usually, when I feel this pull in winter, at best, I appreciate the ocean from a distance, but last night…last night it was beautiful outside. I stopped at the Irving on the way home, grabbed a large decaf (stale, and too bland…had to add a ton of milk just to lighten it a little) and drove on down to the beach.

I love Rye Beach at night. A long flat beach, easy for walking and big enough to get away from others who have ventured out. Tonite, I had the beach to myself. The air blowing in off the ocean was like a warm gift in the middle of this cold season. Last week, I was worried about pipes freezing and ice forming on my roof. This week, all I can do is smile. I know this is only fleeting. Winter will re-assert itself soon enough and the deep freeze that February always promises will chill me to the bone again. But for now, nature was being a tease, enticing and delighting with this amazing night.

I sat down on the sand, feeling the damp and cold beneath this surface of warmth, a subtle reminder, nothing more. I closed my eyes and listened to the waves. That primal, rhythmic beating and retreating of the ocean. This is what calls me, the sound of the relentless and inevitable ocean. I sipped my coffee, the taste not so awful mixing with the salty air. And for a moment, I felt peace.

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