The sticky sandy saltiness of a day on the beach clings to my skin, a day spent picking through shells in the wake of a receding tide, of climbing across seaweed-strewn rocks in the hot, blue-sky, sunshiny day.
The sea-born breeze whips at my senses until I forget about the sun being hot and burning and instead only remember that the water is cold and fresh.
Swallows mesmerize as they swoop and dive along the sway-backed curve of the beach as it slants away from the dunes down to where the waters break, where turns and gulls plummet and clouds of sandpipers flicker white in tandem.
I talk to strangers with dogs and kids and balls and frisbees as we all wander aimlessly, almost blindly, our chairs and towels and parasols forgotten, derelict and unimportant in the face of this blazing grandness before us.
En masse, we keep following the tide out. We wade and explore across the growing sandbars that rise out of the water, stepping along the quilted patterns they weave among the tidal pools. Out and out we go onto where the ocean used to be and then, when the waters have nowhere left to go, we let them push us back up again, back up the broad beach to the dunes, back up into cottages where we watch the sun set and the moon rise with the tide, where we wash away the salt and sand and sun from the day before crawling between sea-breezed sheets, to fall asleep to the sound of water and birds and wind, before starting it all again