Everyone needs a day at the beach to unwind

Believe it or not, this is the face of a rested man. We recently spent a few days at the beach with our kids to get away from life for a while.


We’re not beach people, but every time we go, I see a bit of the allure. Just sitting there on the sand, watching the birds float by, jumping into the waves, living the life of Riley – or at least Gauguin.

I know people who have honed the skill of relaxation to a fine art, but I’m like the shark that must keep moving to survive. On my days off, energy allowing, I never sit down, but flit from one task to another.

Our kids drag us along to the water each year, and for that we are grateful.

We’ve been going to the warm, clear waters of the Florida gulf, but this summer, we spent a few days on the Atlantic coast in South Carolina, and it was just as good. The waves were much stronger – the first one took my sunglasses out to sea – and I heard that the sun rose right there over the water, though when I arose at midmorning I never saw that myself.

There was plenty to see, nevertheless, including a “rainblock.”

Well, that was our name for it. It started out as the bottom end of a rainbow, and there was good old Roy G. Biv. That’s how we learned the colors of the spectrum in school, for the order of the color bands: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

As we watched rain falling far offshore, the rainbow turned into a huge horizontal block of color, as though a swash had been painted across the clouds. It stayed in place for a long time before fading, and then we saw a normal rainbow arc across the sky again.

When my gaze returned to shore, I noticed that groups of pelicans and gulls would fly overhead in a line. The funny thing was, they always flew against the wind. Not one bird sailed along with the wind behind it; all were struggling the other way. That seems awfully dumb. What is up with birds? Don’t they ever need to go the other direction?

We sat there in chairs, watching people stroll by in their bikinis. Hey, get out of the way, girls! I’m trying to watch the ocean here.

The water roared, the wind blew, the birds screeched. Our backs burned a little as the sun went down behind us, but it was worth living out one of those Corona commercials featuring sun, sand and surf.

Earlier, from our balcony facing the sea, we noticed that some vacationers were satisfied to stay in the swimming pool all day. Chlorine is no substitute for standing in waist-deep water, having your fillings knocked loose by huge waves.

Even being battered by the waves was relaxing, because by the time we went back to our chairs, we were worn out from the battle. There’s nothing more relaxing than exhaustion.

How about you? Did you have a good vacation this summer? What did you do? Where did you go? Most important, can you tell me why birds work so hard?



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