Although the Adirondacks did get some rainfall, it was really only just enough to get everything wet. The Catskills on the other hand got a deluge. My husband sent me a picture of the Eastkill creek that runs through our property, and my eyes popped out of my head when I saw it. The whole creek bed was full, not flood stage over the banks, but close. Although it was just a photo I could hear in my mind the roar of the rapids as the chocolate milk colored water surges over the rocks in its hurried urgency to get downstream. I can see wooden debris floating in the torrent, bobbing chaotically in the frantic current. I can smell the distinct odor of wet earth, fertile and musky as the inundated ground overflows adding its muddy contributions to the cataract below. I feel the ground rumble and vibrate as rocks are tumbled along the stream bed with the powerful push of the roiling boiling waters. Understanding the true power of water is an awe inspiring experience.
Another hot hot humid day in the Adirondacks. Another trip to Thirteenth Lake with an inner-tube. Solo this time. This place is like a dream world. Blue-grey water stretching to the horizon where it meets hazy blue- grey mountains. Dusty blue sky with wispy white cloud shards and a brilliant blinding hot white sun shining down. Green mountains towering along the sides of the lake and wetlands meeting forest along the shoreline. Sandy bottom gives way to deep water, warm at the surface but cools along a gradient as you dive down into the green abyss. I lay beneath the water looking up at the shining reflective surface, a mermaid in a mermaids world. Silver sparkling air bubble swiftly rise from my lips in a darting and twisting line. Out of breath I swim to the air, break through in a rush and gasping. Shake the water from my hair and lazily swim to the tube, clambering back on in a most ungraceful manner. I doze as the sun sets, shifting light rays steaming from behind the western ridge. Chilled I swim to shore to rejoin reality. Rocks and pebbles dig into my feet as I dry off on the sand beach gazing across the lake to the misty blue mountains, breath deeply. This is what summer is all about.
My parents live about an hour from the ocean. Whenever I visit, I make at least one pilgrimage to the beach to watch the sun rise. In June, close to the solstice, that is really freaking early in the morning. However, I believe it may be a biological imperative ingrained in my system. It is like an instinct that I must follow. It is always worth it. It was still dark when I left the house heading east to the Atlantic Ocean. The sky got lighter as I traveled closer to Fernandina Beach. A lilac sky fading into pastel pink and blue as the early morning sunlight grew brighter and stronger. This early in the morning I am able to park right next to the beach entrance and only a few other people are out and about. A cool brick breeze whisks over the sand and the surf sighs in and out, small waves breaking just off shore. I sit and watch. The horizon is a flaming red orange cloud bank, reflecting on the surface of the ocean, as fast endless sheet of florescent pink and orange. The few storm clouds rising up from the horizon have dark grey interiors, outer edges constantly moving, glinting with blinding gold light. My breath catches in my chest and I sigh with happiness as the top edge of the intensely bright glowing pink coral sun disk flows into view above the watery horizon. It shimmers and wavers, its boarder shifting, diffused through the cool morning air. My eyes water at its brightness as it grows larger, the earth spinning, bring more of the sun into view across the water. The top edge disappears into the cloud bank sending yellow, pink, orange, and gold sunbeams streaming from the top of the cloud against the faded light blue of the lightening sky. As the sun climbs, the cloud bank on the horizon started to dissipate, burned off by the intensity of our nearest star. The storm clouds turn billow white and fluffy as the sun emerges in its full sun strength, dazzling orb, too bright to look at. The colors quickly fade as the sky turn daylight blue receding away to infinity. The sand and air warm quickly in the morning sunshine. It will be another perfect summer day.
Although it was a late night, my oldest best friend, her wife, and I all managed to pull ourselves out of bed in the morning and go to the beach! You HAVE to go to the beach at least once when you visit Florida. It’s mandatory and non-negotiable. It was fabulous! We ended up a Jax Beach, where we used to go when we were in high school! WOW has that place changed! The beach still looks the same, but the town development is off the chart. Did not recognize anything. All our childhood landmarks were either gone or so much changed they were unrecognizable. Crazy! Busy too. We eventually found parking and lugged a bunch of accouterments down to the sand: chairs, sand blankets, boogie-boards, beach towels, umbrellas, cover ups, sun hats, sunscreen, drinking water, snacks, and some other stuff. And we had a marvelous time relaxing in the sun and shade, romping in the surf, swimming, boogie-boarding, and walking down the beach searching for shells and shark’s teeth. My heart beats in time with the pounding waves, my souls sings in tune with the roaring surf, my breath sighs with the water as it washes over the sand and shells. The beach is pure energy, I absorb it and make it part of me. When you touch the water of the ocean, you touch the whole world, and the world touches you. A sweet salty caress of sand, salt, and surf that transcends time and space, to hold in your physical memory so you can return to it when winter’s darkness closes in.