Surfside Beach Wander

Surfside Beach

Two miles, two hours. That’s a good wander.

It’s hazy, with a strong breeze off the Gulf of Mexico pushing the waves further up on the soft sand of Surfside Beach. Although the thermometer reads 72°, this cool wind necessitates a sweatshirt. I roll up my pants and step down the boulders at the breakwall. 

I need my sandals to walk the two blocks to and from my condo, but on the beach, I want to feel the sand between my toes. I stashed them under the boardwalk and savored the caress of the powder-fine, soft sand.

The long, shallow slope out to sea gives the waves room to roll, break, and reform before decorating the beach in endless arcs and intersecting curves. The sand is a partner in this dance, twirling up into the swells and then chasing the receding surf as it washes back to sea.

Even without the myriad of flotsam, shells, and other sea life, the ground under my feet would be captivating. Everything uses the sand as a palette.

The shapes, textures, and colors of the shells tug at me. I hardly take five steps before stopping again to study the newest, intricate designs. I’ve never seen such a trendy shade of blue striping on a seashell before.

Where the tide wets the seawall, barnacles wait for their twice-daily bathing. Moss anchors to the rocks and lets the water shape its appearance, restyling with every tide.

The windy surf brings all manner of objects to the shore—buoys, plastic, driftwood, rope (“line”), empty shells, jellyfish, and a pumpkin. No two walks here could ever be the same. That’s part of the allure.

I spent a week in the area in early January. When I returned in late February, I spent most of my free time on this beach. It’s so relaxing. There’s no goal, no expectation, just simple immersion in the experience.


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