Lacing up my boots, I grab my jacket and head out the door. The air is crisp, and the faint smell of burning firewood lingers in the air. Leaves crunch beneath my feet as I make my way down the quiet street toward the beach. Reaching the top of the hill, I pause to admire the sandy shore below. Just a few weeks ago, this view was cluttered with noisy people and crowded parking lots. Now with each crashing wave, the peaceful, empty space ahead beckons to me.
Crossing the sprawling park just beside the beach, I sigh, contented as I step onto the unblemished sand. My footsteps trail behind me, mingling with tiny three-pronged prints of seagulls. Cool winds blow as I am anointed with salt-spray. An empty lifeguard chair stands guard over the quiet refuge. All culminate in an atmosphere that allows me to get lost in my thoughts.
There’s something magical about strolling leisurely along the sand, as seabirds call and wayward crabs scuttle. It is a very different place from the one captured by the arms of summer. Summer demands attention and uses the beach as its playground. Autumn invites solitude and reflection, using the beach as sanctuary. I walk, my spirit renewed with each step.