Sometimes I forget it is summer, until we do something silly like head to the beach at 3 pm on a Saturday. Then I remember.
People everywhere. Parking lots jammed. We eventually find a spot and join the throngs walking down the allotted pedestrian access. STAY ON SIDEWALK. NO TRESPASSING. A white sedan with a security guard is parked alongside to make sure no one ventures into the neighboring mansions. I wonder if he’s armed with a tazor or just a walkie talkie.
We make it to the beach and an unoccupied square of sand. Volleyballs flying. Frisbees whizzing. Body boards breaking. The universal shrieks of joy and terror, then joy again, as the little ones toddle towards waves as big as they are and then turn tail and run.
Sun is warm, but not blazing. It takes a few minutes to gather the internal heat necessary to believe jumping in the ocean is a good idea. But gather it we do, and in we go. Nature’s neti pot irrigates my sinuses. Sand exfoliates the inside of my ears. For a few minutes, all that exists is light hitting water, huge salty smiles and the buoyancy of knowing that, while the waves will knock me around a bit, they will also show me a damn good time.
Summer. Even the hordes can’t ruin the beach. And if you squint just right, or angle your camera just so, you hardly notice them at all.