Bouncing down Route 6a, that old historic road, take a left and bounce down the pavement to where the dunes begin. Air down the tires and travel over the sand, all of a sudden the dunes part and the only thing before you is sand and sea and air, blue sky that goes on forever just like the almost-tropical looking ocean.
The warm soft wind carries the scent of ocean, tide, sea life and sand, sunscreen and bodies caressed by the sun's healing rays.
The ocean laps lazily at the sand, growing slowly closer, it will draw near for six hours and then retreat, again revealing the flats and the stones and the tidal pools it covers at its peak.
In winter it is grey here, and cold and desolate, lonely and depressing. It's hard to imagine the suicide, domestic violence, and substance abuse rates are as high as they are when you look out at the summertime paradise. But it is a stark difference, and those of us who live here year round know if we endure the cold and hard winters, we will be rewarded with paradise.
This is Cape Cod. Specifically, the images I present to you are from Sandy Neck, a long stretch of sand on the North Side of Cape Cod, fronting Cape Cod Bay. Standing here on the beach you can see Plymouth to the West, the Sagamore Bridge connecting the Cape to the mainland, and on a good day you can look East to Provincetown, the whole of the Cape.
We are beach people in the summer, flip flops all the time, sand in our cars and on our floors, in our blood. The Cape is beautiful because of its diversity. There isn't simply The Beach, there are many beaches. Warm placid South Side beaches, fronting Nantucket Sound (threatened by the possible future installation of one hundred thirty four hundred foot wind turbines); the gorgeous and eternally protected National Seashore of the Outer Cape, its beautiful cliffs, vistas and freezing Atlantic water. To the North, Cape Cod Bay, with its epic, stretching tides...sometimes when you walk out on the flats during low tide you swear you are on another planet where everything is still and warm and glistening and perfect.
We stay on the beach until the sun goes down, bathing suits are covered with comfortable cotton tee shirts and shorts, a fire is built on the beach and music is played. Our sun warmed bodies chill easily when darkness falls, but the glow of the fire keeps us warm.
Since my trip to the beach last weekend, I've quit my job and signed a contract for a new one, a large salary increase and a new challenge, a similar yet vastly different venue, a step forward and one behind all in the same. Amidst all this chaos I'll sink my toes in the sand and let the waves washing by caress the shouting in my soul.
Happy summer, everyone.