It's Autumn.....at least the calendar tells us that it is. The weather here in upstate SC has other plans, however. It's predicted to be 87 degrees before the day is done. I think that's too warm to call it Autumn here, and Mother Nature thinks so too, I guess. There's not a sign of colored leaves yet.
My mind quickly flashes to my home town, where Fall is beginning. The end of the tourist season has come, and the natives are rejoicing over that and the cooler weather. I allow myself to drift into thoughts of the place.
The ocean beaches are deserted at this early time of day while I write. But for a million footprints in the sand from former visitors there, you'd think no one ever came to view the sea. Those of us who are drawn there, know that what we see at this hour hides the truth. Before the sun has even awakened, the surf casters will be on the beach in their waders, readying their gear for a catch. The sea birds will dive and soar at the first glint of the sun, competing with the human fishers for a harvest from the ocean.
Photographers with their digital cameras, lenses and paraphernalia will also arrive to catch the early light. Some who must make a daily trek along the shore will come too, in order to get their exercise....or to calm a spirit. Others will arrive in their cars soon, to sit and stare at the ever-changing sea. Still others seem to think it is their duty to go every morning, to be sure that no one has pulled the plug and let the ocean drain away.
Today, as I do on many other days, I remember the way the ocean claps as it hits the sand, spraying foam high in the salted air. I listen to the rhythms of the waves that sound deep within my soul. I am far from my native home, but it is not far from me. I smell it. I hear it. I see it. It is deeply embedded in me, as if the salt water runs through my veins. Because I cannot visit today, I visit my memories.
The sands are carried by the sea....and the sands of time have carried me to a different place in the world. A place where pine trees grow tall and the heat of day arrives later and the sun sets over mountains. Still, as the sands of the beach drift in the Autumn winds, covering the footprints of those who were there, and though I have drifted to an inland home, my own being there on that beautiful island can never be erased. It is all a part of who I am, and will always be so.