I see a few boogie boarders charging into the face of the waves today. They walk about on the beach all dressed to do battle in their flippers and wet suits. I will sit and watch as the wind slowly builds and fills in on the surface of the water, rushing toward me as if from nowhere. It will be a day, if I want to continue reading while I relax on this warm sandy beach, for me to build a low barrier–a stack of two shoes, a sweatshirt, and a day pack–so that I can evade much of the wind and stinging, lifting sand. At least I can get my face behind this low barricade.

I’ve been in the habit the past few days, when I come to this place to work on a suntan, of jumping into the ocean, just to see whether I can detect the warmer waters of spring. Yes, a trend is in effect, and I am able to body surf a few small waves without a wet suit. Then run back and lay my chilled body on a beach towel and shiver for a moment until the sun finds its target, blasting me with such soothing and comfortable rays. I think my skin is getting tougher, more resilient to intense sunlight this year than last. I seem to become more brown without the burning and without lathering myself in pricey drugstore oils.

People up and down the beach are pink and have adopted the smell of coconut, squeezing their protective lotions out of squirt tubes, while they dart in and out from under their boldly-colored umbrellas. These patches of bright color erected from the plain, brown sand, add such a dimension of gaiety and celebration to this easy-going life on the beach.

Today I see a large amount of crab shells demarcating the high-tide mark that flowed onto shore in the early morning. Sea birds sort through this long thin line of shell, but I don’t think they are finding much food here. Left over potato chip bags would better engage their interest, but chip season is at least another month away, when the masses of people will come and the birds will profit from what gets left behind.

I fall asleep reading a book, and when I awake my skin feels encrusted with dried, caked-on salt. Some of the regular browned sunbathers are bagging their beach luggage for another day. I see them putting their things away in the proper order, which is the order in which they may very well be removed again tomorrow, as the weatherman is forecasting a repeat of today.

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