Tuesday, August 17, 2010

That Magic Moment

My in-laws offered to take my daughter for the week at their beautiful home right on the beach at the Jersey shore. Since my son is away at sleep away camp until Saturday, my husband and I naturally jumped at the chance to get some alone time.

So yesterday morning, I packed up the car and my daughter and drove the 4 hours from Connecticut to Long Beach Island, NJ. Since it was such a long trip, I stayed the night, and came home this morning.

Now, I have to tell you, I'm not much of a beach person. In fact, I absolutely loathe actually going in the ocean, and I really don't understand the point of sitting on the beach on a hot day in the hot sand.

I also don't like sitting in the sun, and have pretty much never gotten a tan in my life (which now that I'm almost 50 is turning out to be a real good thing. I still don't have crow's feet.)

Furthermore, I detest honkey-tonk. I don't like board-walks with rides, miniature golf, arcades, food stalls etc. I'm more of an undeveloped natural beauty kind of gal, and if any of you know anything about the Jersey shore, it's wall to wall, over-developed honky-tonk.

But, my in-laws have this spectacular beach house, and given that I'm Italian girl from NJ, my family insists on renting a big house every year together at the Jersey shore every year for extended family "bonding time."

So there you have a paradox. A girl who hates the beach, who none-the-less spends at least two weeks every year at the Jersey shore.

So, I always try to make the best of the time. I've learned to really love long, solo walks on the beach early in the morning. I watch the sun rise over the ocean, and enjoy the silence of the empty beaches. I also use the time to look for and collect sea glass, which I bring home and display in my master bath.

This morning I walked for over an hour on the beach. I headed out around 6:15 and just wandered down the beach, watching the sandpipers madly dash into the waves as they pulled out, then dash back up the beach as the waves lapped back up on the beach. It was low tide, and I found the most beautiful piece of blue sea glass, that will be displayed on the top of my hoard at home.

As always, I found my early morning walk magical. A calming, somewhat unearthly experience, that somehow makes the whole shlep to the beach worth-while for me.

But it was last night that I had a truly magical moment. Dinner was over and cleaned up and my in-laws had settled in to their reading, while my daughter was busy watching TV.

I wandered on out to my in-laws' deck overlooking the ocean, and listened to the ocean's waves crash onto the shore below the house. The moon was out, and the most beautiful breeze swept off the ocean.

It then occurred to me to practice Tai Chi. So, I closed my eyes and did my entire Yang long form in the moon-light to the sound of the waves crashing.

It was an experience unlike any I've had before. It was so restful, despite it taking over 20 minutes for me to get through the entire form, that when I completed it, I actually ran through it again.

I now have a new beach activity to look forward to doing at the Jersey shore. Tai Chi in the moonlight to the sound of the ocean. Good thing my family rents a beachfront house every year!!


  1. What a great way to make lemonade out of lemons. I am not a beach person either. And for someone who lives in San Diego it's really a bit of a waste of very expensive real estate. Luckily we've had a very cool summer this year. Until today, that is.

  2. Sounds heavenly! Nothing better than the sound of waves crashing on the beach!