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Last Summer Day for the Beach Desk

I heard the ocean crashing when I stepped outside today and saw how sunny it was, and how blue the sky. We're expecting torrential rain tomorrow, clouds for the next 7 days, hitting a high of only 55 on Friday, and very heavy waves through Saturday. By then it will be days into October. 
I work for myself and have a home and a yard that I keep pretty much on my own, so there are always 10 things I could do in any given moment to move life forward (though sometimes it feels more like struggling just to maintain). My to do lists are long (like yours). And though I have been mentally moving into fall, I sent the first draft of a writing assignment, then decided, though I was actually pumped to purge basement boxes (rare), that it would likely be my last day to go to the beach in a bathing suit. So I made the executive decision to prioritize --and got out there!
Rather than just walk across the street, I did it right - grabbed a chair and a stocked beach bag, donned a straw hat, sunglasses. It was windy, and because of it, a little chilly at 75 degrees. I sat doing work on a rock atop a jetty that has the best view on the island, my shirt around my shoulders to ease the goosebumps that had sprung up. Even so, my legs started to tingle and color. Much as I was mourning the last vestiges, I marveled that the date was September 29th. That's pretty late to be getting tan.


I came to sit, but eventually could not resist a walk -- figuring the next time I'd be bundled in a sweater. I turned around and saw darker skies advancing behind the cottage rooftops... looking ahead, it was all sun, so I walked toward it, albeit with my towel wrapped around my shoulders. Spotted only three people for the entire stretch from horizon to horizon. The air got warmer - warm enough that instead of turning around, concerning myself with the time, I impulsively shook my towel flat and lay there for awhile - first on my stomach, then on my back. My mind was empty. Not at all sleepy. Alert but at rest. I could literally feel the energy and vitamin D infusing my skin. The light shuuuush of the waves as the tide crept further out. Opened one eye to see a woman also prone not too far from me, blurry through my lashes. 
Content. 
Those of us who live here have miles of clean sand all to ourselves --but if we see someone it's usually someone we know. We chat about how lucky we are. The locals are a so open and friendly - an admirably eclectic group. I really enjoy them and being part of it all. 
The clouds caught up to me, though the warm air stayed. Still, I stayed put. Eventually, I made sure to stick my toes in. It was cold. Felt less so in after few more steps. In case rain was on the way, I walked all the way back, this time without needing my shirt or towel. 
Spotted a series of four huge white shells big as salad plates and one curled one the size of my palm, striped in pink and brown. I never bring shells home, but this time, the idea of summers' end made me dust them off and carefully cradle them, stacking one inside the other like a set of Russian dolls. 
And even though it was nearly 5:00 pm and had grown shaded with pre-storm clouds, the now-warm wind, the even warmer sand, the little waves' gentle lapping all made me want to stay. 
It can be so hard to let go... 
It was a long winter, and summer seems never long enough. But I was so glad I had today.

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