For sixteen days my soul is lulled into a state of soporific bliss as I wander the unspoilt beach on the East Coast of Florida. New Smyrna Beach stretches for thirteen unspoilt miles to the North and South of our condo residence these last weeks.
Now, newly returned from the States and as I wait for my mind and spirit to catch up with my body, I would like to share some of the amazing and moving photographs of the landscape, wildlife and towns. To do them justice I will write three consecutive posts – one on each topic.
From my mother’s and my first midnight arrival the sound of the ocean is bewitching. Not the gentle roll of waves I am used to from smaller beaches in the Mediterranean or even in the UK. Rather an unfathomable rolling roar as one crash upon the next reverberates along the coastline. Initially frightening, then quickly hypnotic and calming.
Daylight ushers in a view of almost surreal beauty; unimaginable to our tired eyes. Stretching ahead is the widest of horizons; ocean meeting sky in a perfect horizontal line. The beach fades in the distance to our left and right, absorbed by the gentle sea mist.
The magic of the ocean becomes all pervasive and I know its sounds, sights and scents will inhabit my soul in the months and years ahead. I am at one with this mighty force; finding transcendental tranquility with the new-found union with nature.
Each day solitary joggers pass in front of us as we sit on the balcony. The odd cyclists too make an early communion with the beach.
Walkers too share its delight. Observing, we soon join them for long contemplative strolls. Ahead is a woman deep into her yoga, seemingly oblivious to the scatterings of folk around her. Sheer beauty and simplicity and surely how all yoga should be practiced.
Many mealtimes are shared on the balcony and from here we note the quiet piercing rise of the sun – later I feel its blistering heat.
A heat that the first few days is more a wall of hotness and humidity but quickly we adjust to this new phenomena. We watch the placid roll of waves turn to an unruly fierceness as first the tropical storm and later Hurricane Hermine approaches.
As the waves power their way to the shore mounds of seaweed are deposited high up on the beach. If this is just the edge of the hurricane I am glad not to witness its full ferocity.
On every visit to the beach I’m mesmerised by the various sensations underfoot. At first my soles sink in the soft near white sand until they resemble zombie feet! Then there is the harder darker wet sand which sends a jolt of pain on each step into the ankle as this feels harder than concrete. Then finally the tantalising breathtaking walk in the surf, a satisfying sinking feeling with each step, a small footprint indent left behind immediately filled and eradicated by the next wave.
Around us, close to us is an abundance of wildlife – turtles, pelicans, dolphins, egrets, geckos to name a few. More of these in my next post…
All photos ©Annika Perry