Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to the Beach

Last night, we did something we do too seldom these days:  we walked to the beach.

When we first moved here, I could hardly bear to be inside.  I loved walking all around my neighborhood.  I reveled in the fact that I could walk to the beach.  I walked and walked and took my camera and registered the ways that my new neighborhood changed with the months.

Well, those days have become these days.  We are both teaching more classes, which means we're at our computers more.

My spouse's brother and his wife were in town, celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary with a night at the beach.  So we walked over to meet them.  We had beer brewed onsite at the organic brewery--we ordered a big beer to share, which meant we got a Brewmaster pizza for half price.

When we got home, sweaty from our walk, we went for a swim and then we watched some bits of TV.  We caught the end of Simon and Garfunkle's Concert in Central Park.  I thought about how many times I've bought this album (2 times on vinyl, once on CD).  I thought about all those great songs.  They ended with "Old Friends":  "How terribly strange to be 70."  Now both men are older than 70, and likely not sitting on park benches like book ends, to use the words of the song.  I thought about all the friends I once had, too many of whom are also not going to make it to that park bench with me.

This morning, I walked to the beach again.  I took my camera.  I sat on a park bench, all by myself.  An older man walked by, and he said in a heavy Russian accent:  "Every morning, remember, remember that this is magic."

He gestured at the sunrise over the Atlantic.  I said, "I will remember.  It is magic."

I think of that Wordsworth line, which I don't have time to look up to get the wording right:  though much has been lost, much has been retained.  Abundant recompense for the losses?  Yes, but these years, I say it with more hesitation.

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