JB and I decided to go to Blueberrys for a gyro supper and then drive up to Barefoot Beach, almost to Lee County and Ft. Myers. A long drive for an evening outing, but we were in the mood for a new experience. As we made the left turn on the drive down the shoreline to the county park that maintains the beach, we realized that this wasn’t a new experience – we recognized the drive through the exclusive, upscale residential neighborhood. At the gate, there is a sign for people who are heading for the beach telling us not to stop along the way for any reason. A somewhat strange arrangement for both residents and visitors of the beach.
Look closely to see a wind-surfer under and to the right of the sail.
When we exited the short path from the parking lot to the beach, we were surprised to feel the energy of the water. There was a stiff wind, lots of wave action, not many people, but lots of noise. The surf was roaring, and JB and I both found it exciting and pleasant. It seemed to create a cocoon around me; I was alone with the water.
We walked a ways down the beach, into the wind, connecting occasionally to share our pleasure and joy. Maybe that is how we are, now that we are “old,” (what a hard statement to make – much easier to say we are aging). We respect each other as individuals, we enjoy having our own thoughts and opinions, but we connect frequently to share ourselves with the other, and to enjoy the other in our relationship. We are navigating this aging process by being together, holding hands – while at the same time having the space to be the person we were created to be.
I had added joy because I was able to re-experience the seascape, the beach from the perspective of a new lens. I purchased a Nikon Nikkor 55-200mm VR lens that was not expensive (really inexpensive after a $200 instant rebate) and I think I’m going to like it. It is lightweight, I can take acceptably sharp images hand-held, and it is a nice compliment for my favorite – a 50mm dedicated lens. This evening I was seeing what I could do with it without a tripod.
Total and complete joy, even though we didn’t stay for the sunset because we had forgotten to put chairs in the car. Life can be very good with a little flexibility.
Going north for summer is on our minds a lot. We won’t be leaving for a couple of weeks but we are thinking about things we want to do one more time before we leave. We will probably go to the beach a few more times, but that was my state of mind when I suggested we go to the beach for the sunset.
It was quiet and gentle on the beach, probably because we decided to park several blocks from the pier. Most of our trips to the beach this year were to the pier – taking visitors to see the sunset and hopefully some dolphins. The pier is a popular place during the winter high season with people coming to fish, see the sunset, and get a different view of the gulf shoreline in Naples. The whole length of Naples shoreline has public access which makes it great for walking, but most were there for the sunset.
On this evening there were a few walkers, and even a few young men practicing their surf boarding…
most of the time taking a crashing tumble as they left the crest of the wave. Each time they did, my body responded with a groan and a shudder – probably because I was riding the waves with them and I could feel my aging body being jarred into a long period of painful recovery. They came up shaking the water from their hair and laughing – eager to try again. We made a win-win duo. They experienced the exhilaration of the being that comes from doing and I had the joy of the vicarious experience without pain.
I also experienced the joy and peace of a less-than-spectacular sunset. This was one of those sunsets that makes the world gentle and delicate.
We walked along the low-tide shoreline watching the water press earthward in long slow sweeps.
We held hands, wanting to absorb this world of ours that seems so common and natural now, but will be left in a couple of weeks for a world that is vastly different.
How strange that I find myself escaping our caustic and scary politics into the gentle world of surf and sunset, and later into dirt roads with freshly plowed fields and budding leaves of spring, only to find myself disturbed by the thought that the current administration has no concern about how undoing environmental protections in the name of bringing back jobs and making more profits for businesses will cause destruction to the environment that have long-lasting effects. There no longer is an attempt to balance progress (making money) with protecting our planet – and we will be the losers. With some mature brain-power I bet we could create jobs with the goal of finding ways of meeting the needs of nature – human and environmental. We need to understand that humans are a part of the environment, not separate from it. It is inevitable that we will experience the same fate as the environment. If we destroy the environment there won’t be anywhere to escape to, for pleasure… or life.
I am still trying to get my mind around the blooming and growing seasons in SW Florida. I think growing never stops, but blooming times still confound me. These are a couple of roses I captured on my first visit to the botanical garden in January. When I returned a week later they were gone. This seems like the perfect blooming season as it has been somewhat cool but very sunny. I think I shall need to ask one of the volunteers – they are always eager to share information whether asked or not.
In any case, I really like the emotion of both. Especially the gentle comfort of the first. Enjoy.