I grew up on the coast of Georgia, so I love being near the water. Some of my fondest memories are of playing in the ocean with my brother and cousins or taking the boat out onto the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway as a high schooler, or the end of semester tradition of finishing my college exams and then racing to the beach with my best friend Kate to celebrate our freedom with Capri-Suns and Publix sandwiches.
I am a coastal girl, and this coastal girl has longed for the beach during her years in landlocked Germany.
(Though the Mediterranean or Aegean ain't a bad substitute...just sayin')
So when Fionn's uncle invited us to spend a day at a beachfront condo, I was SO excited. Not only does Florida have incredible beaches, but I was super excited to dip my toes in the water on THIS side of the Atlantic.
We got to the beach, slathered on the sunscreen and changed into swimsuits and raced down to the sand. It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining, and I sat under the umbrella chatting with Fionn's family while he spent time with his cousins.
All was going well until Fionn returned from the ocean with a sad face...a rogue wave had snatched his wedding ring right off his hand! His aunt and cousins and I searched along the shore, hoping it would wash up, but no such luck. Poor Fionn will have to get a new one.
Public service announcement...TAKE OFF YOUR WEDDING RING BEFORE YOU GET IN THE OCEAN. Le sigh...
After fruitless beachcombing for the ring, ominous clouds started to roll in. We managed to get almost everything inside before the thunderstorm hit. The kids were disappointed that their beach day was cut short, but we made the most of a rained in afternoon by watching Rambo and playing games. I actually enjoyed getting to know everyone better, especially since I burn like a lobster after too much time in the sun (the cruel irony of loving the beach).
The next morning, the storm had passed and the beach was beautiful. I got up early and walked along the beach by myself. Besides a few fishermen, joggers, and hungry sea birds, I was the only person out there.
I hoped against hope that Fionn's wedding ring might have miraculously washed up on the shore, but all I found were seashells. I gave up the search and soaked in the beauty of the morning, thinking of all the times in my life I spent similar mornings staring out at the Atlantic, enjoying the peacefulness of a sleepy, Southern beach town.
It felt like I was home. Or nearer to home than I've been in a long time.
Once a coastal girl, always a coastal girl.