My mother-in-law once said the biggest change she had seen in her lifetime was no one just sits anymore.
On my last sunny beach day in South Carolina a few weeks ago, I just sat on the beach and watched the world go by.
There were families who lugged their beach carts to the same spot they had the day before, filled to the brim with plastic sand shovels, coolers, colourful beach chairs and umbrellas. Before the adults could set up even one chair, the kids would grab the beach toys and run with glee towards the water and furiously start digging in the sand.
There were surf fisherman who sat close to shore, the water lapping up on their toes as their lines bounced in the white-flecked waves.
There were lots and lots of dogs, since it was a pet friendly beach. German shepherds, labs, a grizzled old golden retriever that lay beside its owners in a small patch of shade beside their chair, and breeds I never even knew existed like the German Elo (who was named Murphy, by the way, just like our old dog Murph).
There were osprey soaring in the brilliant blue skies, splashing into the surf to catch their lunch, then lifting slowly and wobbily, a fresh catch in their talons. There were pelican armies flying in formation patrolling the picturesque shoreline, and gulls, terns and sandpipers tiptoeing in the grainy sands.
And best of all there were dolphins. Spied first far, far out in the ocean. Their fins cresting out of the water in graceful intervals. Then closer to shore, coming near my two teenagers splashing in the waves. I try to yell at them to look, but they just wave back, oblivious of the magnificent creatures sharing the ocean’s expanse.
I couldn’t believe how many dolphins I spied that day. There were multiple pods, some playing in the waves, leaping in the white crests of the surf and blowing and chuffing as they came up for air. They must have known the weather was about to change and decided to enjoy their final day on the beach frolicking in the waves.
Yes, spending a day watching the world go by is a bit of a luxury in today’s world, but I highly recommend it…especially at the beach.
Ed. note: The photos below were all taken in the evening since I didn’t bring my phone to the beach during the day so they don’t capture the images I’ve described above, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.