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Beach Life

August 14, 2011

The Pheebs and I waxed philosophical about her return to the mainland this month.  She saw it as a chance to spend time with a portion of her full-time occupation for the past 23 years – time with one of her daughters.  I thought while this may be an admirable pursuit, she might find the mainland a bit, well…alien.

“Huh?” she wondered.

I proposed a theory I’d been working on…

We’re malleable and adaptable creatures – which is why we can be found living north of the Arctic circle and in the deserts of Africa.  No other species has this wide a range.  Our adaptability allows us to integrate with our environment, but…

In the process of integration – we end up changed by the places we’ve lived in.

A few days at a vacation resort does little to transmute one’s worldview.

No – the longer one spends in a place, the more the two become intertwined.  The imperial British had a term for this – they called it “going native.”

In an age of manifest destiny and eminent domain, the idea that one would eschew the civility of the Realm to live as if a half-naked savage was a revulsive thought,  except…

Humanity has spent more prosperous years living at water’s edge than it ever did in industrialized northern nations.

The way we live is actually quite artificial.  A small plot of land, decorated with ornamental flora; a home filled with gadgets of convenience, traveling an average distance of a days walk to toil in at a specialized task – often in windowless buildings?

Insane, I tell you.

No wonder people look so happy to spend time at the beach – It’s if we’re hardwired to perch at water’s edge, only we forgot how.

These thoughts were shared with the Pheebs prior to her leaving.  She called today.  After ten days on the mainland, she went through beach withdrawal.

(gratuitous feral dog shot for Michael Beattie)

She drove to the beach at Sarasota – considered to be one of the finer beaches in America and…

It wasn’t her beach.  Party boats throbbing with thumping bass tracks, jet skis fouling air with noise and smoke.

She couldn’t stay.

It had happened.  I’d predicted her time in Guam would have an effect – and she’d know it only after returning to the mainland .

She has been changed by this place, this beach, this Guam.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2011 7:01 am

    We all have memories of our travels. You will have great stories to tell when you get to be an old guy like me.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 14, 2011 7:46 am

      sadly – I won’t be as half as good looking! It’s important to be attractive – no one wants to listen to an ugly guy.

  2. August 14, 2011 8:19 am

    Don’t get me wrong…for a mainland beach Lido Beach in Sarasota is one of the most beautiful beaches on the mainland. Powder sand that the beach goers actually respect and keep clean. Recycling bins and trash bins at every entry/ exit point seem to help. I did enjoy my walk. I appreciate all beaches for what they are. I could do without the smell of Petroleum from gas guzzling party boats practically beached on shore. Sitting in a party boat drinking while just looking at the beach is the must unnatural experience I can imagine!!! Some people just don’t get it.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 14, 2011 3:21 pm

      The point isn’t the beauty of Lido Beach – the point is prior to your time off the mainland, you’d tolerate party boat insanity. Now? Not so much.

  3. August 14, 2011 6:33 pm

    Yes….party boats …not so much!

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