Pensacola Beach: falling in love all over again

“Saddle up, Twitchy Baby. Let’s go for a drive.” My arms were full of warm towels from the dryer, my head full of mental furniture moving, busy work. I started to make a face at Buck, but then he dropped the other shoe.  “Let’s take a picnic lunch over to the beach.” Oh, that man. He knows me so well.

The beach is where we first took long walks together, talking through our lives and our dreams and daring to conceive an entwined future more than 30 years ago.

I dropped the towels on the bed and was ready in a flash. We made sandwiches from tender leftover Chinese 5-Spice roast pork tenderloin and brought along a plastic zip bag of organic granola with dried cranberries and almonds.

Imprints of bare feet, jogging shoes, and big birds mingled with drying seaweed and pieces of large sand dollars. We saw a young mom and dad swinging their toddlers around in the pristine air. We heard their laughter, floating bells.

I had forgotten the power of water to soften, open and cleanse.

Walking on this nearly deserted beach, the tidal pull stimulated, clarified and calmed my noisy mind.

There is an attitude of acceptance at the beach, probably because each new tide washes in with the life that, even with shed feathers and drying jellyfish, organizes itself into a tableau that becomes an artful homily.

The look of love is unmistakable. How did I get so lucky?

I am squinting into the bright sunlight. There’s a large bird feather stuck in the waistband of my jeans.

What will the next leg of our adventure be?

Bring it on!

14 thoughts on “Pensacola Beach: falling in love all over again

  1. Having spent most of January in a condo on the beach, I can affirm. Give me the surf, dynamic, restful, always changing. There’s nothing like sleeping to the sound of surf. Others can take the moody mountains . . . The beach is for love.

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    1. I’ll bet that was a wonderful change of pace for you, Richard. Buck and I “hiked” 6 miles yesterday, even though it was only lapping house to gate and back again — talking through our thoughts about woods, mountains, the sea shore — and the opportunities and tyrany of time. Your observation on “the moody mountains” is well taken. A house that is combination library and park headquarters nestled into the woods with quick access to the beach is the flavor we’re liking . . .

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  2. When I was still teaching, Anne and I took advantage of the three best things about teaching — June, July and August — to spend an entire summer at the beach. I thought we’d get tired of it but we never did . . . and never will. I envy your proximity. I’m heading to Little Talbot in a few weeks for some camping and wet-suit surfing. Your photos and text whetted my appetite. Thanks.

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  3. “Wet-suit surfing.” Gulp. I’m impressed, David, and have to confess to a lifelong fear of the water. I will bob in the Gulf a little bit, and have learned to be at ease swimming in a cement pond, but that’s about it. Sure do love to walk by the sea and get my toes wet, though! Love your comment about the three best things about teaching. Enjoy LT.

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  4. Beautiful! Everything about this post: beautiful! I could almost smell the beach from your photos. I lived in Santa Cruz Calif for about a year, 1/2 block from Seaside Beach. I kept my windows open at night even in the winter, just so I could hear the shush and sigh of the Pacific. Now I live at the foot of the Rockies, and people here feel about the mountains the way I feel about the ocean. Like you, Beth, I don’t go in the water except to let waves lap my feet. But oh!! to just walk the firm sand at water’s edge and let my senses soak it up!

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  5. First thought: Oh, she’s taking pictures of snow.

    Can you tell where my mind is? The snow plow guy woke me up this morning. Again. Lovely post. I know what you mean by the power of water. We seem drawn to it. Perhaps, on a more prosaic note, it’s because we’re all just balloons of salty water?

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  6. Hi,

    Beautiful blog post. I am the Director of New Media Marketing for the company that owns the Hilton, Hampton and Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach. I would love you to guest post for our blog called Toes in the Sand. Email if you are interested jill@innisfree.com. Thanks again for sharing this awesome post!

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    1. Deb — I was born in Miami, grew up near Tampa, lived in Tallahassee for ten years and have been in Pensacola for 30. If you need any info about the state and the character of its various communities, email me — and if you visit the panhandle, come see me! That would be awesome.

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