I bet a lot of you Canadians and mid-westerners do not live near an ocean. Is it possible that some of you have never been to an ocean? I can walk to an ocean from where I live up north. It’s called the Atlantic. The waves are not so good for surfing as the west coast. That’s why the Beach Boys hung out by the Pacific. When we get company we always say to them, “You’ve come to visit us here, so you must visit the ocean.”
We walk down there in October and then we walk on the boardwalk and look at the lookers walking our way. That’s the big sport: watching everybody else. Some of these beach towns are honky tonk, so you can play miniature golf or ride a merry go round, but mostly, you walk. Then you take a deep breath and sense the salt in the air. Or you can trudge down to the shore and hear the waves. There’s something therapeutic about an ocean, even if you don’t actually go in it.
Now there are some people who still go to the beach— in fact some of them still swim everyday. But even in the winter, when there’s a blizzard, there are always people down on the beach. It is mesmerizing. It calls to you.
So if you don’t have an ocean, here is a photo to show you what it looks like in October by the Atlantic. Then you can look forward to putting your feet into the Gulf of Mexico, just 10 minutes from Tropicana and maybe 20 minutes into Sanibel Island. Wow! —Paul
SOUNDTRACK: Here are the Beach Boys with a song about hope. Being by an ocean has a way of promoting hope.