Friday, August 26, 2011

Fringe of Green

For life at the beach, the singular hour each day is the one spent walking on hard sand a few feet above the the white froth of spent waves, a path that leads through scatters of seashells, gatherings of birds that peck at sand or stare hard into the unfolding water, the occasional starfish or gaudy pink of washed up plastic, the dangerous red of a beached jellyfish, a track that never dulls, never deadens, always enlivens. Conditions most of the year are agreeable enough to allow these short walks on the margin between ocean and firm ground. But once in a while hurricanes come along and though their passage may be a comforting distance offshore, that never dull track of local sand becomes a seething chaos of clashing waves, uncertain footing and high tides, a place even the birds abandon.

At such times I move the footwork inland a few hundred feet and walk the unshifting sidewalk or road that parallels the beach, offers few views of ocean or beach but instead pleases the eye with green rather than blue. Below are a few snapshots of that place just over the dunes where a beach view is available on tiptoe and where the driveway of beachhouse meets front door.

You wouldn’t guess it, but the backyard of this house opens onto the dunes. From backdoor to ocean is no more than a two minute walk across the beach. A beautiful house, is has none of the characteristics that are most often associated with a house on the beach.

Another 300 feet down the street we catch a thin wedge of ocean through the dune growth. At some time in the future when this oasis of green finds a buyer, a house will block this view from the road.

A very different look here, perhaps a shade closer to the beachhouse look, but it is probably the long staircase leading up to the front door that gives it a beachy flavor.

This empty lot on the same road offers a wider perspective of the ocean, but it too is a temporary portal sure to be shut one day by a newly built dream house on the Atlantic.

Nothing but an ordinary utility pole surrounded by palmetto. What catches the eye is the color and grain of the weathered wood in contrast to the fresh green of the palmetto.

Looking down the entrance road to a sprawl of condominiums called Turtle Bay. The beach is through the keyhole of light at the far end and another dozen or so condos are off to the left of the one in view.

1 comment:

  1. Nice view of the environs around you that gives a real feeling of life near the ocean. Have said it before but a dream for many people would be to live in such a place of sky, water, and beach. And it is the changeable nature of those seemingly static elements that lends an expectation to life among the dunes.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America