Footprints on the sands of time

July 20, 2006

The beach may not be a geographical part of the Washington metropolitan area, but it is certainly part of the culture. Each summer, groups of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings rent beach houses for the season, and on Fridays, they leave work as early as they decently can and join the stream of slow-moving traffic headed for the Delaware beaches. Sunday nights they do the same thing in reverse. It always seems to me that any relaxation is negated by the stress of driving back to town, which can, I am told, take four or five hours.

I adore the ocean, but I prefer to see beaches devoid of people. I’d rather go between October and May, even if walking on the beach means wearing several layers of clothes and having the wind bring tears to my eyes. Seeing snow falling on the ocean is on my list of things to do before I die.

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow