February Beach

by Annette Meyer

The twelfth floor picture window gives us a high rise undisturbed viewpoint of a long white sandy beachfront along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Standing quietly at the dark west-facing window, I also yearn for an unblemished view of tomorrow morning’s Wintertime sunrise, I know that I won’t see that beauty unfolding from this side of the hotel, but from past experience, I am certain that it will be a spectacular sight to behold!

Last evening, my parents and I arrived in our hotel room just in time to view the last remnants of a beautiful sunset.  I’m not sure why, but the evening light show did not linger in the skies as it seems to do on some nights. Within minutes the last tendrils of technicolor faded quickly away.  Our evening window view of endless sand and gently lapping surf stretching as far along the horizon as the naked eye can see had given way to sporadic beams of artificial white streaks and flashes of red taillights from the traffic flow stretching along the waterfront far below. Glowing streetlamps–strung along the now invisible highway–sparkling incandescent reflections, much as a glistening beaded necklace lies around the fashionable neckline.

While we do have a pretty view of the shoreline from up here, sadly the artificially brilliant spotlights mounted on the shorter buildings directly below the windows of our high rise perch limits the skyview. The natural twinkling of the heavenly stars that always draws something powerfully reassuring from deep within me are significantly dimmed in their harsh glare. Every time I stand to witness the heavens in all its splendor, I am assured that My Creator lives and oversees all things here on this earth! I like that feeling of security.

Several times during the night I rouse from a restful sleep to hear the quiet breathing of the others in the room and each time I smile with contentment as I relax into sleep once again. Here in the quietness of the night all is well with my soul!

Lying cozy in this awesome bed, my groggy mind knows there’s an awakening world just beyond the closed curtain that I’m staring at through sleep filled eyes.My wandering thoughts soon envision the beautiful surf lapping along the quiet shore close by. An inkling of a thought causes me to consider whether I should try to get myself dressed and sneak out for an early morning stroll along that sandy beach.  My desire to abandon my nest right now is pretty weak.

The novelty of wading in the Gulf of Mexico in February without sending cold-induced shivers up my spine sounds awesome. Definitely an adventure that I’ve never had opportunity to enjoy before. After all, when living on the East Coast, February is still Winter, and getting wet outside in wintertime is not for me. I like to leave that thrill to water creatures and lunatics!

Each time we travel overnight, my concern for the parents overall health and safety–and how they could manage alone in case of an emergency while I’m away on an errand–effectively tethers me to them. With their current health issues that is a realistic concern and in any away from home situation, I usually default for ‘better to be safe than sorry’ and stay close by!

From deep in my nest, suddenly I sense the writing bug intensely nudging at my fingers; let us fly!. Reaching for my phone on the bedside table as the incoming tidal wave of words rises up quickly, I cover my head with the sheet so as not to awaken the others and eagerly begin to feast upon the delicious words appearing almost effortlessly upon the screen. Writing is exhilarating when the stream of inspiration is flowing strong. I so often yearn for these powerfully productive moments of expression and eagerly embrace them when they do happen. What a rush!

Long minutes flash by and the glow around the curtain covered window sill continues to brighten while I subconsciously begin to ponder my other options. Should I delay here cozily entwined with my friendly bedcovers and enjoy living lazy in this moment, thereby allowing this spontaneously beautiful stream-of-consciousness creation to continue until it naturally subsides? That would mean I miss out on the walk, but it would be time well spent while writing and I would be here when the parents do awaken! My mind puts those reasons on the plus side.

Should I deliberately subdue this writing fever, abandon my comfy nest and keypad and get myself outside to spend some quality alone time with My Maker in the fresh seabreeze? I already know the deep regrets that come should I stifle this rapidly flowing stream of words! Whenever I’m in writing mode and get interrupted the glowing luster fades dramatically. In trying to get back up to speed again, the second round of words never sounds right to me. The storyline suffers dramatically when the fire gets quenched and I am disappointed with the outcome. Writing a quality piece without that focus is one tough job for me! Putting the brakes on now definitely goes on the minus side.

The mental wheels slowly rotate. Realizing that a walk would provide opportunity to sniff out some top-quality first-cup-of-the-morning coffee puts a great big grin on my face. Getting an early start on that first cup of the morning is a very positive temptation that just might get me moving.  Another plus for taking a walk.

With my thoughts on the delights of coffee and my fingers still flashing in a world of their own, this multitasking mind has stayed busy in the background continuing to figure out my dilemma and now begins flooding it with copious amounts of down to earth logic.

I know that yesterday’s extreme warmth would have undoubtedly made for a very pleasant evening barefoot stroll on the warm sand. Had we arrived earlier in the day so that they could be settled into the room for the evening, I sure would have enjoyed that warm watery wade!

But, my inner voice of reason cautions me; the lower overnight temperatures will certainly have cooled the sand and water considerably. Envisioning myself grimacing while tiptoeing in cooler Gulf waters serves to encourage me to be strong and doubly resist the temptations of coffee, sand, and surf. So, my reluctance to get my bones out of a warm bed coupled with an expectation of a less than enjoyable experience resulting in a chill has given me a case of cold feet.

The walk shall be put on hold; the coffee will be there when we get downstairs together in a few hours. Meanwhile I shall contentedly snuggle deeper under my warm covers, write about the constant struggle to make successful life choices till the writer in me is completely satiated and happily choose to let this morning’s beach time opportunity pass me by for now.

When I had finished the writing, I actually dozed for a few minutes, arising significantly after the crack of dawn. Feeling good, with no regrets for what I might have missed, I opened the curtains wide and was treated to a long and hardy good morning laugh.

The expected coastline view existed only in my overactive imagination. Fog, heavy fog, so thick it was almost dark-as-the-evening-sky-last-night fog, was just now in the process of lifting away. There had been no Eastern sky morning sunrise to see, no Western side view of the fishing boats skimming along out upon the glistening waters. Down on the boardwalk leading to the beach, it would have not exactly been a can’t-see-the-hand-in-front-of-my-face thickness, but definitely a limited range of sight not conducive to a long, warm, solitary stroll upon a perfect beach by any stretch of my imagination!

I really do love it when I discover that having weighed all the pros and cons that I could think of I had actually made the perfectly right choice! I got to linger, to write, then doze, and because of my Creator’s sense of humor with these delightful Surprise moments of His, I didn’t actually lose out on anything except leading the lineup for that soothing top of the morning cup of wake me up coffee.

My life is somewhat cyclical so maybe I’ll have opportunity to try this February Beach walk plan again; but of course, with that you-don’t-see-it-coming-till-it-hits-you “Surprise” factor, you could be reading a future Mississippi blog titled February Fog!

Have yourself a wonderful week!

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