I went out to the beach today, more in an effort to calm my anxiety over this pending storm headed our way than for my weekly photo hike.
Skipping around to various locations, I was heartened to see tourists and locals still out enjoying the sand and sun. I even happened upon a small beach wedding – the guests having left their shoes on the walkover leading to their sandy altar.
The last place I stopped was a happy accident. Driving to one of our many public access beaches, I passed a roadside pullover along Highway 98 between Fort Walton Beach and Destin. These don’t have any paved parking and if you don’t know they’re there, often you’ll miss them. I was grateful to find this particular stretch of beach empty, save for a dozen or so dozing seagulls.
Walking to the water’s edge I saw a small sandy shoal a few yards out in the surf. Crossing a shallow channel, I walked out to the sand bar, turning in slow circles to take in every angle.
In that moment, alone on a silent beach, I found myself holding back tears.
The vista was so incredibly beautiful and it was like a special gift just for me. I abandoned my camera, and simply breathed in the salty air and, basked in the sun and cool breezes.
For this moment, I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t concerned about what the next few days might bring. I just was…