Last week, we re-charged our batteries. It was a family affair: 15 people, 1 house, on an island together for a week. Bliss.
I’d honestly planned to blog from the beach, but when the time came to seat myself in front of this screen, I couldn’t do it. Between bike rides and sand dollar hunts and pretending to read on the beach while really just chatting about nothing and watching the waves, I couldn’t bring myself to post. These days spent together are far too few not to take full advantage of time, on which we’re all constantly running low. But at the beach, time is on your side, even if the days fly by.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina was a first for us, at least all together. Our family has been on the Delaware beach train (a train I’ll always love) for many years. But sometimes, it’s nice to branch out and see what it is everyone’s been talking about, what we’re “missing.”
And it certainly was a different scene down south where the Spanish moss is plentiful; the beaches are as wide as football fields at noon and narrow down to a few meters by 5pm; and the ice cream shop closes at “tiiiin” instead of “ten.” Although most places in our neighborhood, we discovered, closed closer to eight o’clock. Sometimes this made us stir-crazy, other times we relished in the nowhere-to-go feeling.
There were only a couple other groups on our strip of beach, meaning plenty of space to spread out and play games. Although the hard, tightly compacted sand makes for hard landings when the games get rough.
My favorite time of day on the beach is always the late afternoon, when the sun’s rays subside and the shadows lengthen. The wind picks up, and with it, the waves bulge higher, each one trying to out-do the last. At a certain point, I’d resign myself to another beach day’s end and stroll home, skin salty and brown and dotted with sand.
But we’d always get back down to the beach at night, long after dinner was over and card games had been played. We searched for turtle eggs to hatch so we could help the tiny creatures survive their perilous journey to the sea (of which we saw none). We also searched for shooting stars (of which we saw many). And one night, we got to see a fierce lightening storm far out in the ocean, shimmering reds and oranges between its frequent flashes of light.
I don’t know where we’ll decide to go next year, but as long as there are a few beach chairs and umbrellas by the ocean, I think we’ll be all set.