Yesterday I went to the beach. I never go to the beach. I live just a short drive away and yet I’ve made the trip just twice in the last couple of years. But yesterday I went to rejuvenate, and it was wonderful.
There is a quote I remember well from Sylvia Plath’s journals, about how “any idiot can spend a day getting tanned at the beach,” something like that. She liked going to the beach, but she felt it was a waste; a mindless, vain way to spend the day. And I suppose that’s how I’ve looked at it too: a place filled with tanning oil and sand stuck in shoes and languidness verging on becoming sloth-like.
And then yesterday I realized I love the beach; I love its energy and the tie I feel to the universe. Most notably of course is the big yellow star that shines fire in the sky. We as people love the sun. It’s star-energy. The live giving force we so admire is a giant star. The world is inherently galactic, we are inherently galactic, composed of the universe, and I often forget that incredible truth because I’m too busy fretting over words.
I feel the most galactic when I’m at the beach. The sand reminds me of layers of moon, sloughed off. The moon can be found there, too, peeking out from the wash of blue sky, barely formed, a quiet ghost, a spectral guardian. And I see the oceans, tied to invisible gossamer that connects them to the sun and moon, the tide rushing up and being swallowed back.
I read a bit of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff on my towel as the sun warmed my back, and I thought how weird that going to the beach is marked as some superficial summer experience when really, it is quite sublime.
I am late to the game.