Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Thankful for the Beach

 

“The beach is a place where a man can feel
He’s the only soul in the world that’s real
… Crazy days. Crazy days”
— Pete Townsend, “Bellboy,” Quadrophenia

The lovely Mrs E and I spent most of Wednesday and today on the beach at Sandy Hook, NJ. No matter how insane things are out in the world, everything is better with the sound of the surf and your toes in the sand. Though it’s late November, the ocean is still relatively warm. We did eight or nine miles each day, barefoot and ankle-deep in the surf. It’s just splendid.

I love the off-season best of all. Wednesday we had the place to ourselves. Today there were a couple of fishermen, and the surf was ok so there were some surfers. But still large swathes of beach with no footprints but ours. Not what you’d ordinarily think of when you think of the Jersey Shore.

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  1. Manny Member

    The beach is great except for the sand and the sun and the cold water. Other than that…I kid. Nice post. 

    • #1
    • November 27, 2020, at 4:49 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    A splendid reflection with pictures, I’m linking this post as a bonus entry in our Group Writing Series under the November 2020 Group Writing Theme: “Cornucopia of Thanks.

    If you have your own brief, or lengthy thanks this weekend, please post them and add the tags “Group Writing” and, “Cornucopia of Thanks” to make them easy to find. Drop a link in the “Cornucopia of Thanks.” comments, if you will.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #2
    • November 27, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Jim George Member

    As a fellow beach aficionado let me say how much I enjoyed this post– our slice of sand and surf and peace and heaven is Pensacola Beach where we’ve had a condo for a couple of decades.. it is true there is nothing like the scene you describe although as “the years increase” my version of a lovely few hours on the beach tends more to the sedentary pursuit of a good book, settled in the sand as close to the surf line as I can get it without having to push it back very soon… there may be more satisfying, tranquil, peaceful moments than leaning back in that beach chair, opening that great novel you have been “meaning to read” for some time, getting the feet firmly planted in the sand, and then promptly dozing off to the sound of the surf–but I don’t know what they are. Nothing –at my level of years, I hasten to add– comes close. I was interested in your observation that these times are the best for beach lovers, and from the time we started to come here to the condo (we moved to our new home close to the beach two years ago) we would hear natives talk about how the months of October and November were the best, and that has certainly proven to be true. One usually has the place to oneself; how lovely that is. Walking the beach can bring about the most amazing fantasies– at one time, when I was heavily into a study of the life of Cicero, a natural hero for a trial lawyer, I found myself in some kind of reverie about the realization that the beach and the dunes and the surf I was enjoying at that moment was the exact, precise, same beach and dunes and surf as it was when The Great Orator was holding forth in the Senate millennia ago. The beach has a way of transporting you to other places, like few other experiences. So, enjoy the Jersey Shore and on your next walk think about your fellow beach addict walking the sands and surf of the Florida Panhandle, and we shall enjoy the sound of the surf murmuring ashore and we will both feel we’re the “only soul[s] in the world that’s real.” Thank you for this lovely post. Jim. 

    • #3
    • November 27, 2020, at 7:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. James Lileks Contributor

    I miss the beach. That’s another post. I was struck by the lyrics – it’s one of the best songs on that troublesome work. The hero of the scenario has returned to Brighton (I think) to recapture the glory of the time when he was caught up in a Mods vs. Rocker rumble, only to find that the leader of the Mods was now working at the hotel as a menial. Keith Moon sang the original with sloppy brio. Sting played the role in the movie. I guess we’re supposed to be disappointed in the Ace Face getting a job and getting on with it, but it beats running your scooter off the Dover Cliffs.

     

    • #4
    • November 28, 2020, at 12:28 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    I miss the beach. That’s another post. I was struck by the lyrics – it’s one of the best songs on that troublesome work. The hero of the scenario has returned to Brighton (I think) to recapture the glory of the time when he was caught up in a Mods vs. Rocker rumble, only to find that the leader of the Mods was now working at the hotel as a menial. Keith Moon sang the original with sloppy brio. Sting played the role in the movie. I guess we’re supposed to be disappointed in the Ace Face getting a job and getting on with it, but it beats running your scooter off the Dover Cliffs.

     

    “I’ve got a good job and I’m newly born.”

    • #5
    • November 28, 2020, at 5:09 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The off-season is definitely the best time to go to the beach. I especially love it in the winter, and if a storm happens to be coming in, so much the better.

    Lovely post.

    • #6
    • November 28, 2020, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. James Lileks Contributor

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    “I’ve got a good job and I’m newly born.”

    CARRY THE BLOODY BAGGAGE OUT

    I’m not a big fan of the cold beach, the flinty NE beaches. I prefer them hot and indolent, but I will make an exception for the British beach. The popular places have a charming culture that’s distinctly English. The seaside place I call my second home has a vast bleak expanse that’s daunting, humbling, and exhilarating – the sea there is almost a foe, battering against the land with brute animal force before settling on the daily truce. Down the coast a few miles there’s a museum devoted to a town the sea took – first by stealth, then by force. The only remainder is the cemetery, where one remaining tombstone sits on the bluff at a precarious angle, waiting for the day when the sea returns to finish the job. 

    • #7
    • November 28, 2020, at 10:58 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Charles Mark Member
    Charles MarkJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I would broaden this out and include the coast in general- at least where one can walk close to the sea. I am fortunate to have access to spectacular cliff walks in the west of Ireland. I do love the beach also. Nothing beats a swim in the sea, and few hangovers can survive it. 

    • #8
    • November 29, 2020, at 2:38 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    The seaside place I call my second home has a vast bleak expanse that’s daunting, humbling, and exhilarating – the sea there is almost a foe, battering against the land with brute animal force before settling on the daily truce.

    Charles Mark (View Comment):
    I am fortunate to have access to spectacular cliff walks in the west of Ireland.

    They both sound spectacular. I have to get out more.

    • #9
    • November 29, 2020, at 5:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Charles Mark (View Comment):

    I would broaden this out and include the coast in general- at least where one can walk close to the sea. I am fortunate to have access to spectacular cliff walks in the west of Ireland. I do love the beach also. Nothing beats a swim in the sea, and few hangovers can survive it.

    In County Claire? 

    • #10
    • November 29, 2020, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Dr. Jimmy Carter Member
    Dr. Jimmy CarterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #11
    • November 29, 2020, at 12:10 PM PST
    • Like