The summer isn’t officially over yet – that comes on Thursday – but Labor Day usually signals the end of our carefree vacation days. Now we aren’t supposed to wear white anymore; the kids are back in school, and the beach is a fond memory; however, the weather has been so lovely and there is no reason at all to stay away from the surf and sand.
September has always been my favorite beach month. My father taught me to savor these days at the beach whenever I could because the crowds are gone, the water is still warm enough for swimming, and the slightly cooler air temperatures are more conducive to sitting on the beach in the sunshine.
With the kids in school and having a day off, I ventured down to my favorite surf and sand spot in Nassau County, Long Island – Long Beach – to enjoy some time there. I wouldn’t stand a chance trying to park my car anywhere near the boardwalk during the summer, but on this day I easily found a spot right off Lafayette Boulevard.
There were a few people walking along the now totally refurbished boardwalk (the original had been decimated by super-storm Sandy), and a couple of bike riders whizzed by in the central bike lane. I walked over to the railing and gazed out at a beautiful panorama of white sand, blue sky, and sparkling sea.
There were a small number of people sitting in chairs or on blankets on the sand, while only several ventured into the water. After Labor Day the lifeguard stands are gone along with those who sit on them and watch over swimmers. While the water seemed a bit calm on this day, I did notice a couple of surfers down the beach a ways trying to catch a wave.
I walked along the boardwalk heading east, and had a clear path mostly to myself. Encountering only an occasional jogger, walker, or bike rider, there was none of the negotiating for space that I would experience on a midsummer’s day at 11 a.m.
After getting my 2 miles of walking in, I returned to Lafayette Blvd. and sat on one of the many benches that dot the boardwalk. I saw an oil tanker way out near the horizon, a few other smaller vessels, and I enjoyed the serenity of being able to breathe in the sea air while I sat and meditated. Nothing lifts my spirit more than being near the ocean, closing my eyes, and hearing the waves come in to shore.
During this blissful time of getting some exercise and away from my desk and computer, I was simply clearing the cobwebs out of my mind and breathing in clean air. Now I felt ready to get back in the car, have a quick lunch, and then go home to do some work until I had to pick up the kids at school.
If the weather cooperates, I plan on returning again next week on my day off, but this time wearing a bathing suit and armed with my beach chair, towel, and carrying a picnic lunch. Summer’s lease does indeed have all too short a date, but I am going to enjoy this good weather and the sun, surf, and sand until it inevitably expires.