January 28, one month past Christmas, Hannukah, New Years. It’s been cold here, even in Florida, and we year-rounders revel in wrapping ourselves up in wool and down. We open the windows. But today the sun shines, a strong breeze blows, and it’s back in the 70s.
Beach walks have been good but challenging, as getting down to the actual beach from our walk-over stairs means covering about a four-foot drop from our last step. Those nor’westers have repaved the sand flat and redistributed the dunes, thus the actual walking, strolling, wading is quite nice. The sun warms me as the wind tugs at my hat.
A small plane makes a hard turn just above me, working the engine just a little harder. The sound sends me directly to Dodgertown, spring training, blue and white uniforms everywhere. Bats cracking, balls thwacking into mitts, children hanging over the stadium railings to talk to players who graciously give a moment of joy to a small fan.
I snap back to the beach just as suddenly, staring again at the curling waves and sea foam at my feet. How delightful that feels, to have your brain grab your soul and fling it instantly into a memory so pure and complete. Dodgertown itself, which is near to our small airport, might not be such a good trigger as that airplane was, for sounds, like aromas, seem to occupy a more vibrant well of memory than algebra or a poem recited in 5th grade.
Walking along the solid flat sand, the many stranded bubbles of man-o-war sparkle intensely, blue, purple, bright pink embroidered balloons. They edge the high-tide line like ocean flowers. The wind has whipped the sea foam into drifts now, some gliding like bergs in the flat waves, some blowing like sage brush and erasing themselves against the sand.
I could be two years old. Or fifteen. Or fifty. But what I am is home.