I wrote the following last night after my parents hit the hay:
I am visiting my parents down in Wildwood Crest, NJ for two days this week. They take a week during June, September, and October and rent a room with a serene ocean view. From their balcony, they can watch waves roll ashore with calming regularity. It's a stark contrast to the blaring horns and packed subways of NYC, one which I will be a little sad to leave behind when I go home Wednesday night.The morning was a flipped image of the previous night's clear skies. Fog obscured everything past the motel pool. Had I taken a walk on the beach, I would have needed a GPS unit to locate the motel again, and possibly the ocean. It burned off by about 10:00, revealing an overcast sky. The stretch of gorgeous weather between the hurricanes was about to end.
I used to come down to Ocean Beach with them until my late teens, but I don't think I appreciated the trip for anything more than the chance to binge on boardwalk fudge and videogames. I wasn't much of a swimmer, especially in the ocean, which always seemed most infested with jellyfish and seaweed on the days when I had finally dragged my inflatable raft and my courage to the water's edge. I looked forward to the flumes at Rainbow Rapids in Seaside Heights more than I did the scorching sand and gummy sunblock to be found on the beach.
Tonight provides a different perspective. From the balcony, the black expanse of the ocean is illuminated by a healthy slice of moon. White light shimmers on the water far toward the horizon. On that invisible line, a few dots of light mark fishing boats, enjoying the cool, slightly humid air and breezes that herald the barest edge of the approaching Hurricane Ophelia.
If this were my rental unit, I would sleep with the screen door open every night, to luxuriate in the breeze and listen to the ocean murmur below. I could make up for a lot of lost time as a kid, getting reacquainted with this beautiful coastline. I still am not much of a swimmer, but I could find great peace here, walking along the shore and feeling the rust of stress flake away to reveal strong, gleaming steel.
I should return tomorrow evening with more verbiage, so if your Internet connection slows down unaccountably, it's just me posting here. Pat your cable modem on the back until it goes down the right pipe.
I should also note that I am, as predicted, sad to have left the ocean behind.