Running on the beach is one of my favorite things to do.
But, sometimes, it’s also one of the hardest things to do.
And I don’t mean physically.
It seems almost sacrilegious to run past a glittering horizon, earphones shoved into my ears while it chases after me, calls to me, begs me to notice it, to photograph it, to write about it.
Every morning, I find myself rising earlier to get to the beach, to see the sunrise, to have time to capture the peace that the beach invites.
My bare feet noiselessly pound on the coarse sand, rubbing the balls of my feet and the tip on my toes. I always start running toward the sun, watching it timidly peek over the horizon. After shocking itself with its beautiful reflection in the waves, it serenely floats to the top of the sky in a bright blaze of pink and golden glory. Then I turn my back to it and run away from the wind, immediately breaking out in a hard sweat.
When I turn around again, the sun is a scarlet ball of flame, blinding me with its radiance. I shuffle and kick my feet in the water, collecting shells, navigating the cloud of translucent jellyfish that washed up on shore, and slowly meander about a mile and a half to the weathered, wooden door that separates the beach from the line of beach houses.
Yesterday, as I walked back to the villa, I kept listening to Allison Kraus, “When You Say Nothing at All.” It fits the peaceful, loving feeling I get from being near the ocean. This is where the people I love the most come together. It’s not just a place. It is a silent witness to squealing children, running into crashing waves. It taught us that sometimes we may run headfirst into where dangers abound and find the greatest beauty and joy we could ever imagine.
Really, it’s like a cosmic love letter, sent to every corner of the world.
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing…
Yes, it has been a lovely day.
The sun is shining, the water is blue.
I love to watch the birds with you,
And hold your hand and admire the view.
And yes, I’ve enjoyed your company,
Your humor and manners never fail,
But doesn’t this feel cliché and stale?
Why don’t we just set sail?
I want to traverse a distant shore
And learn an exotic, alien tongue.
Why waste away while we’re still young,
Like a beautiful song that’s left unsung?
This boat has become my prison cell,
Teasing me with all my thoughtless hopes.
Lift the anchor! Cut the ropes!
Stop watching the world through telescopes!