When you step on a beach the world goes away. My good friend and gardening guru Gail Woodruff and I drove up to Indiana Dunes State Park for a visit with my daughter Allyson and her husband Brandt. He is the property manager of the the park so they live on property. We ate, toured the park with Allyson as our guide, inspected a local plant and garden store (of course!) and ate some more. As dusk approached, we went down to the beach to watch the sunset. And, as always, it was wonderful.
I am not sure what kind of magic happens when you take off your shoes and step into the sand. It wraps around your toes. It is so different from the lawn and sidewalk of everyday life. You sink in a little and by the time you draw near the lake, the cares of the day have left you and disappeared into that soft blanket of warmth. The water reaches into the sand as you get near the lake. There are small treasures left by last night's tide; polished rocks, beach glass, bits of wood and hardly recognizable discards.
We wander, we pick up this rock, we decide against that one. We have one eye on the sky and now it's time, the sun is tired of this day. Time for it to rest. We sit upon our blanket and we stare happily as the colors gather. The sun slips lower and lower, we talk, we laugh and then we see it, that precious moment when the sun is there and then pops magically into the water. I always wonder how many people from the dawn of understanding have watched that moment and felt that little gasp escape their own lips. Nature and the universe, the earth and the sky, such a beautiful moment and we shared it. Magic.
Back to the beach house, more talking and welcome sleep. The Dunes have given us another wonderful memory and I will treasure it. I will keep it tucked in with the heart shaped rocks and the bits of colored beach glass. They are all wrapped up together in sand.