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Fueled by the sea

by Carolee Baumgartner 10 months ago in humanity

As simple as the smile upon your face

As simple as the smile on your face.

Each day I am blessed with the opportunity to walk along the beach of Surfside Texas. Up until a year ago I had not heard of this bit of heaven that I am blessed to now call home. As my incredible man and I take our daily walk accompanied by our furry sidekick, we share our thoughts and observations along the way. There are those days we find ourselves turning the observations into insanity with new words and diagnosis for the behavior of others. (an entirely different narrative to be addressed at a later date) No matter the day, the time, the people around, there is always the same common thread that curls your mouth and fuels your soul...the waves of the gulf.

This weekend is the first long weekend that the beach has invited the quarantined guests to come out of the house and dip their toes. As we drove down to observe the public beach yesterday afternoon we found it to be crowded with cars, craziness, crowds, canopies, tanning lotions, and an overwhelming presence of smiles. From families grilling to those simply building sandcastles...dipping toes in the salty water … The common thread was the infectious sound of laughter, music and smiles. Certainly remaining alert to the jeeps and golf carts winding through to stake out their temporary territory or dodging the frisbees and footballs is an important safety skill to have. The draw was the freedom of the beach, the sand, the sun, and upmost the seas.

Did the energy of the open water act as a beacon to those cooped up souls holding out during our pandemic of 2020? The energy of the water certainly inspires me. The creative side of me has always been fueled by the elements. The greatest of them all being the water. To look out upon this tapestry that in its dimensions mesmerizes the viewer if not by the endlessness of the water itself but the world beneath its depths. The beautiful canvas the seas provide as the sky kisses the damp tide. Truly a work of art free for us all to enjoy. As many a poet has written and many a sailor shared, “the seas call to me”. The amazement and beauty of the endless water always makes me smile and as well sets my imagination in high gear.

The beach and the open water team up to bridge the gap between social status, economical status, race, religion, and beliefs through my observation. As we enjoyed our morning walk today a prime example of the equalizer effect was observed. Picture this, a young couple are cozy in their fold out chairs (not the bag chairs from the local store but you know the super fancy with a table top on the side...swanky nice) relaxing at the rear of their Lexus SUV, sipping a morning bubbly from a stemmed glass, as he holds an umbrella over them. His designer bermuda shorts and colored shirt paired with leather sandals casts quite the “yes I am putting my high dollar college education to use in that I made mid six figure salary last year” alongside his female counterpart in her fresh off the pages of Vogue sundress with heeled sandals and completing her Vogue look with an amazing wide brimmed hat to match the ensemble. All jokes aside, they were a lovely young couple smiling happy enjoying the majesty of the beach. While twenty or so paces down from them another couple had parked to set up for their morning enjoyment of the beach and its majesty. Though I would venture to guess around the same age, the latter couple were not from the same financial or social circle. The young lady in cut off shorts, an old concert t shirt and baseball cap was baiting her line to fish. Her young man was beside their “seen better days” Tahoe, he had the cooler out, fishing pole in the water, and smiling with pride as his woman was taking care of business in order to join him. To contrast the two couples I’d say the first couple may have spent $10 a bottle for the latest bottled water whereas the other spent their last $10 on bait in hopes of catching fish for the next few days feasting.

I realize that my description does detail the vast differences of these two couples. It is done so in order to stress my point and observation of the energy. The energy of the seas, the beach knows no socioeconomic differences; no race or ethnicity; no gender or sexual identity. The energy of the seas sends out its invitation to enjoy and appreciate life. The invitation to put those 10 facial muscles to good use in making one smile. The equalizer for the sample couples, their bright smiles. The kind of smile that makes eyes sparkle and cheeks crater to dimples. A single smile from a stranger is enough to change your mood. As well, your return smile to a stranger may shake their reality from negative to a more positive outlook. So, smile at everyone you meet...they’ll wonder if you are day drinking or just a happy camper.

Carolee Baumgartner
Carolee Baumgartner
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Carolee Baumgartner
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