I went down to my home beach for an evening session tonight. The sky and water were both gray and serious, but the beach atmosphere was anything but. It was unofficially the first day of summer in my town as all the local schools had just celebrated their last day.
As soon as I saw the sand that is usually only occupied by birds covered in colorful blankets, my heart sank. Not for the reasons you would think. No, the crowd wasn’t the problem. I felt overwhelmingly jealous of all those still fortunate enough to conjoin the words summer and vacation. It was hard to feel envious for long, however. Excited energy exuded from their lotion soaked bodies like rays of sun. All of a sudden I felt myself greeting nearly every person I passed.
Typically this time of year can be a little challenging for those of us that frequent my home beach. During the winter and spring the distance between you and the people you know can be marked by dolphins passing by, the occasional kelp strand and maybe a rip current. On ankle high days like this one you’re lucky to surf with anyone. During the summer, however, the distance between you and your local surf buddies is created by tourists and fair-weather surfers you’ve never seen before. The sand filled crowds couldn’t get me down today, though. It gave me just that kick of exuberance I needed for my small wave surf session.
I caught some fun lefts onto the beach. A summer saluting couple on the sand applauded as I surfed out of a backside off the lip practically onto their towel. Ducking, sand filled the water that made it into my mouth and all I could do was smile a gritty grin.
Then, just as quickly as they came, the summer celebrants packed up their beach toys and zig zagged up the path back to their cars like ants who had just had their fill of a picnic. Shortly after, I also left this summer day feeling fulfilled. This day reminded me to be on a constant quest for summer spirit.