Yesterday was very good indeed, one of those bright September days with nary a cloud in the sky. We packed crab salad sandwiches, grapes, and cookies, and off we headed for our favorite beach—Popham Beach State Park. We love this beach for its broad expanse of sand, especially when the tide is out, but we especially love how the beach is not overdeveloped. On the state park end of things, there is nothing but sand, rocks, sea, and sky, but even when you leave the state park, there are no condos, no honky tonk, no gift shops. Instead, there are a few cottages, one small restaurant, not visible from the state park, and an old ruin of a fort, built in 1807.
After our picnic—a brisk one because of the ocean breeze—we walked the beach. Luck was with us—the tide was going out—and in the clear September light, this beach was even more beautiful and sparkling than it usually is. It was almost as if the beach were saying, “Yes, I show my beauty in the summer to all the tourists, but I am most radiant in the fall, after most of the tourists have left. It is my gift to all those who are hardy enough to stay here year round.”
We brought our wee cameras, of course, and we happily snapped pictures to record our walk.
Because the tide was out, we headed to an island that can be reached only at low tide.
On the way, I found an intact sand dollar, which I tucked in my pocket for safe transport.
At the island, Clif climbed to the top.
While Clif explored the island, I found a rock seat and had my moment of Zen as I watched the water and the sky. Truly, I could have sat there for hours.
My moment of Zen must have given me a pleasant expression because two women—about my age—stopped to speak to me. They were complete strangers, but I was happy to chat with them. (This happens surprisingly often to me when I am at the beach. For some reason, strangers like to chat with me.)
All too soon, it was time to head back. At the edge of the beach, fragrant roses were still in bloom.
All the way home, we thought about the sea, the sand, the sparkling water, and the deep blue sky. A perfect day that needed a special ending.
“Let’s have a fire,” I said to Clif, “and eat supper beside it.”
This we did, enjoying a meal of baked potatoes topped with chili and cheese.
But before we ate, I toasted Clif, wishing him many more birthdays and a happy, creative retirement.
Wednesday is Clif’s last day at work. But that is another story.