Staring at the Sea

Today on the way to the beach we took the skybridge over the street and stopped on the upper deck for a moment to take some pictures. I noticed a very tan older man in a wheelchair and remembered also seeing him there yesterday. We started going down the stairs and both girls felt sorry for him because he was alone and couldn’t go down to the beach. We talked about him for a few minutes, wondering what his story was and what thoughts were swirling around in his head. Was he sad and lonely? I hoped for the contrary. I tried to put myself in his figurative shoes and thought if I couldn’t use my legs, how wonderful it would be to still be able to have a beachfront experience. He was able to sit and enjoy the gorgeous view, see and hear the crashing waves, and feel the constant breeze blowing in from the ocean. Although he couldn’t fully participate, walk on the sand, run into the ocean, jump or swim in the waves, he could still reap the many benefits of being by the sea. I admired him for being strong enough to be out there alone and hoped maybe he was able to enjoy watching his family play on the beach. Later we saw him alone at the beach bar and I wondered if perhaps he is permanent resident here. What a nice way to spend the golden years.
Two years ago when we came here for beach week, I had already injured my ankle but didn’t have it repaired yet. I limped in a brace and went home in far greater pain than I had upon arrival. Two surgeries and two years later, I still have a handicapped parking tag (since I can’t walk very far without pain) but for the most part I’m able to enjoy myself in the water and on the sand. Walking on the sand and playing in the ocean is challenging on my ailing joint but I’m hopeful it’s all in the name of rehabilitation and strengthening. I absolutely love jumping over waves especially since I can’t jump on land!
I think I might have to retire here. And if not here, somewhere near the ocean. The climate is so good for my allergy prone skin. The beauty of the coastal areas is so good for my soul. I think I’ve found my happy place.
Long live beach week!

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