Fatigue had began to creep upon the entire cab full of people. But as soon as that familiar, salty air made its way through the worn-out vents of the old Ford truck, the fatigue was quickly replaced with exhilarated anticipation. Not one of them wasted a minute, barely settled in, they sprinted for the white sand. As the sun was chased away by the moon tiny white crabs came out to play. Finally, the group was forced to head back to their tiny vacation shack. The sting of summer had got the best of all of them, some more than others, but nevertheless they couldn’t wait to get back out into the salt-saturated water.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee woke only a few. The coffee gave the energy they needed to head down to the untouched sand, where they could retrieve the seashells spat out from the sea the night before. They started the rest of their blissful filled days in that manner, no matter how much the alcohol, from the night before, teased. They would only come in from the beach to refill and replenish their bodies, but with a quick snack and a drink or two shoved in their roll-around cooler they were soon rushing back. Boogie boarding and laying out were about the only thing they did aside from breathing. None of them had a care in the world, stress and worry were masked by the salt in the air. With island inspired drinks in their sand dusted hands, they watched as the Crimson sun sank into the Atlantic, giving way to the iridescent moon. Again the rambunctious white crabs came out to play for the second night, and allowed themselves to be cradled in their hands and lit up by the one dollar head lamps they bought on the way down.
They woke surprisingly early again; for how much rum they consumed they all figured the alarms wouldn’t be enough to wake them from the anticipated stupor. There must had been something in that coffee that wouldn’t let their internal clocks rest, something filled with the island spirit. This day, they allowed themselves to explore the tiny island, after picking their seashells of course. They browsed the tourist infested shops, ate at some of the, “the best seafood restaurants this side of the Mississippi,”, and they even took a small ferry to another island in the archipelago to watch wild horses run free.
They had never seen anything like it before. There was an immeasurable amount raw power inside those beautiful creatures. This sight, along with many others on this trip, was something that could not be captured through a mere camera lens, it was only supposed to be taken in, in all of its glory with the gift of sight, sound, and feeling. When they arrived back at their vacationing island, they strolled along the salt-eaten wood of the peer to catch all of the nautical creatures they could; only what their small water poles would allow them to. As every other night, it was ended with laughing, drinking, gazing into the horizon as the sun faded, and the temporary capture of the tiny crabs.
They knew with the heat lightening that was off in the distance the night before, that teased their plans for the next day, they were bound to have some type of unexpected weather. They were still able to start their day off the way that they had before. Rushed, they collected every seashell they could before the rain and lightening chased them back to the shelter the little shack had to offer. It was amazing to watch as the ocean transformed from a gentle wake to a powerful tidal wave of fury.
She felt as if it mimicked her actions by holding everything in and then all at once it released what was inside. Back at the tiny house, they did not use the complimentary free wifi, but instead they just enjoyed one another’s company. They reminisced and laughed about old times and even got a few card games in as the day faded to night. As the dark of night began to take over, the rain and lightening had decided it was time to reside for awhile and let the ocean go back to peace. They of course ran out to see what damage had been made and to hopefully get to enjoy their little crab friends. With the last glimpse of light, they were able to find just what could and could not handle the oceans rage. So many different oceanic creatures were thrown to the sand, making it look as if there were litter strewn about. This did not deter the crabs though. It merely made an obstacle course for them. They went over, under, around and even through the fallen soldiers from the oceans battle, as if nothing had even happened. They all resided back to the shack for some more drinks and oceanic dreams.
That morning they were able to see in full light the ocean’s powerful capability. There were the usual seashells plus many more, jellyfish that were unable to withstand the powerful tide, driftwood washed from other shores, but what caught their eyes were sand dollars that littered the water’s edge. The closer they became the more they realized that these little creatures were in fact still alive. They quickly began to gently collect them only to release them softly back into the waves. Hoping that the little creatures would make it, they moved as fast as they possibly could, given the fact of the stupor they were all in. Finally they finished and began their accustomed rituals of the day. They had all went in on a surfboard rental that day in hopes they would be able to learn on their own. They watched a few videos, as everyone always did when they learned something new, and felt as if they were ready. Much to their dismay they of course were not. After hours of trying and failing a few began to actually get the hang of it.
High tide was on the verge and she was the only one who decided to really test her new-found skill. One particular wave she found out along the horizon called to her. She paddled out and waited for the precise moment to drop in. When her instincts told her to go she let the board do the work and dropped in as if it were nothing. This particular wave had actually turned into a perfectly sculpted tube for her to glide through. It was almost as if she were in a dream when she was inside. She let her finger tip glide along the water, creating a tiny ripple in the powerful wave. She never wanted to reach the end, for fear she would never feel like that again. When she glided out the other side she was instantly addicted and knew she just had experience that rush again. The surfing went on for a little while longer, until the sun told them to go onto the shore and wait until he came back high in the sky the following day. They watched as he clocked out and the moon took her shift inviting the crabs out for the fifth night of hide and seek.
They began to feel the effects of what little sleep and alcohol could do to a body, so most were unable to wake up as they did every other morning before. The mother and oldest daughter were the only ones who were able to push their bodies past the alcohol induced slumber to enjoy the simplicity of gathering seashells. They talked and drank their coffee as the walked along the damp sand, stopping every few feet to retrieve a new shell. They were joined by the others long after they were laying in the sun’s rays. The boogie and surfboarding seemed to be the only thing they knew how to do in the salty water besides swim. They tore themselves away from the waves to explore the sandy town again, only because they knew it was their last full day in paradise. They all purchased more trinkets in hopes they would forever be able to remember these seven days they were down here. They explored a little more of the island life, before heading back to catch just a few more swells. As they watched the sun fade for the last time on this beach they all couldn’t help but feel a ping of bittersweet sadness. They played with the little white crabs just a moment longer that night and said their, “till next times,”as they slowly made it back to their house. This night though they decided to party with the locals to truly capture the island’s culture.
The next morning was the worst struggle for them all to roll out of the softly fluffed beds. Although the fatigue they felt was enough to make them roll back over, they pushed to see the sunrise one last time. Their checkout time was only in a few hours, dampering any thoughts of enjoying the island for a little longer. They made it down to the dew kissed sand, right before the sun’s light swept across. They picked just a few more seashells to add to their collection. Even though they had to leave, all of them knew a piece of themselves would forever reside here in this archipelago. They all wanted to drop everything back home to reside where they were now. Even the few that wanted to forever live in the small town they all grew up in, had a change of heart with the ocean as their breaking point. Not one of them knew when they would be able to come back, they just knew the feeling had to become a priority. Hopefully the day would come that they all would call this way of life their own.