“You wake up in the morning, and lo! your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions…”-Arnold Bennett, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”, 1910
It was the week before school began when “The Summer Glitch” hit us full-force. Our central air conditioning went out! Well, it stopped working, then it worked, and stopped during the night again. I guess it was what you call, “intermittent.” I call it totally annoying! After a few days of on and off again procedures with our cooling unit, and then when two days went by with no a/c at all, I was ready to lose it. Time to call the warranty company, get a service person in and start the painful process of sorting out solutions to fixing, or replacing, our 15 year old unit in the home we bought less than a year ago!
Meanwhile, because of all this, we had to vacate our home, and luckily I have some pretty amazing friends who offered us their apartment downtown to use while they were not in it! Well, we could either bemoan the inconvenience, or celebrate the “happy accident.” In my book, getting the chance to stay in downtown Charleston is always cause for celebration, but it did take packing, planning, boarding the dog, and so forth.
As much as my husband and son were annoyed at having to leave the family compound with all of its creature comforts, I was determined to make this a fun adventure. After all, think of the restaurants we could explore on foot, the secret gardens we might discover on early morning walks and as it happened, the magic we might experience on one nearly full moon night…
It was the evening after the first day of middle school for our son, Dylan. We had already had dinner, even enjoyed some homemade ice cream in the apartment. What would we do for the remainder of our celebratory night? Play cards? Watch a movie? No, that would be too boring. It was still summer after all! So, Dylan called the audible and said, “Let’s go for a swim at the beach!” Mind you, it was now 7pm.
Yes, let’s get to the beach for sunset! Why not?! With no bathing suits, we all jumped into shorts, and grabbing towels we headed out for Sullivan’s Island. It was a gorgeous, balmy evening crossing the Ravenel Bridge. Windows open, coastal breeze in our hair, music serenading us, we drifted gently to a parking spot at Station 22, and ran barefoot towards the Atlantic Ocean.
We were in for a treat! The water was warm, there were hardly any people around, and we each found our bliss in and out of the water. I watched the light change and witnessed my son floating in the shallow water, staring up at the stars. Darkness came quickly, but the moon kept a watchful light on us. There was frolicking, and playing, running along the coast, laughing at our folly, “chasing sunsets.” This is what it’s all about. Grabbing the moments, making memories; Beautiful, blissful, mystical moments of connection with the summer night sky, the ocean and each other. How to get the last licks of summer? Release your routine, immerse yourself in the now, frolick, be free, get sandy and sleep like angels…