With the first week of school over and our own three children out of the nest, my husband and I headed to Old Orchard Beach, Maine. We hadn’t been in years, but Kurt had a hankering for some fried clams and beach time. I just wanted to steal a piece of the weekend for us, an “us” that all too frequently gets overwhelmed by school work, chores, errands, and my never-ending “to do” list.
Old Orchard Beach is a bit of Jersey beach in Maine. There’s a pay-as-you go amusement park, the beach is long and flat and crowded (by Maine standards), and the streets are filled with shops targeting tourists with T-shirts, salt-water taffy, and an assortment of fried foods from clams to pickles to Oreos. The air is redolent with the aromas of salt water, suntan lotion and edible grease–an unexpectedly tantalizing mix.
There was no one special moment to capture in this day. Instead it was a slow slide into moment after moment. We walked on the beach, enjoying the sight of young children dancing in the surf and building sand castles. We marveled at the array of colors in the waves and the overwhelming blue of the sky. We spread our tapestry on the warm golden sand and I briefly dozed, basking in the early September sun. We waited in line for coffee and unashamedly eavesdropped on conversations around us. We people-watched, taking in the variety of body shapes, fashion statements, piercings, tattoos, and levels of modesty (or lack thereof). We talked. We laughed. We held hands. Utterly content to be in each moment, together, enjoying a stolen day.