Vacations are over and school is back in session! It ended up being a somewhat stressful season. It started with a car wreck, then my dad had a horrible bout of pneumonia--so bad that I really didn't think he would make it through--to my daughter being hospitalized. But I have to say, it ended with the most peaceful couple of days at the beach that I have experienced!
I came of age very close to a beach resort area. As a teen, it was wonderful and very quaint, but by the time I was an adult, people were shoulder to shoulder along the sand and large condos and towering hotels lined the beach blocking it from view. When I took my kids to the sea and surf, I took them far down the beach to the state park, but even it suffered from over-crowding.
So imagine my surprise in finding a beach resort that harked back to the quaint in Florida of all places. We could walk out of the door of our hotel, look to the left, and see beach and ocean a block away. No big high rises. No blocking hotels. We were on the edge of a state park which I think helped prevent development and the area must have decided to restrict building to maintain its quaintness.
It was absolutely peaceful. We asked the hotel staff, "Where are all the people?" "Oh, its always like this," was the response. Somewhat skeptical, we asked fellow guests. The response was the same. One set of guests came every year so they should know! We walked out in the evening, sat on benches lining the beachfront, listened to distant music played by an outside band, and let the night breeze waft across our bodies. In the morning, we returned to the benches to watch the sun rise above the Atlantic.
I still feel sorrow at having to leave such a place. I want to return next year and spend more than a couple of days as just those few hours seem to have recharged me. When stress and life's difficulties become too much, try to find peace. Somewhere. Anywhere. The beach experience has made me realize that I have to find peace here at home, too. I've always been big on nature and the outdoors, but for a time I apparently forgot about it. My summertime beach stay has reminded me that we can't let life overwhelm us and nature often has the answers when no one else does. Go outside and take the time to breathe.