A View from the Top
The run starts for me, as usual, at the break of day. Two blocks then past the unmanned guard station, to the Atlantic beach. The beach is deserted for miles but for the hardcore surfers, just outside the Navy base perimeter. The surf is up this early morning. A few fisherman try their luck in the surf.
I can see high rise hotels in the far distance, south. The beach sand is firm, the tide rolling in. I do not see too much evidence of hurricane damage from Irma, but for some beach houses under repair. Time passes, but where did it go? I run to the closest hotel, and after a few earlier miles on base, it is almost exactly 5 miles to the boardwalk and out. Surprisingly, no other runners this morning, but there are shellers galore and many dogs. There is something right feeling about dogs and beaches. The gusting wind has been in my face for all of the miles. A flotilla of pelicans soar past, coasting silently on the sea breeze.
I start back on the innermost road paralleling the beach. Cute but pricey beach cottages, some much more. Sweet! Then finally to Hannah Park, a beautiful park which is on the Atlantic beach, with gnarly single track trails, campsites and wild looking beach, dune scrub and other natural vegetation. And much shade. A beautiful lake. Osprey wheel effortlessly overhead.
I run the full length of the park from its southern to northern boundary, walk the boards back to the beach and duck under the cable separating the public beach from the Navy base. No shots ring out from the nearby guard tower, much to my relief. Only a friendly wave, which lets me know that, yes, someone is watching just the same.
An easy 10 miles, 2:09. Brilliant blue sky. Mesmerizing, crashing waves. Sanderlings and willet race along the beach. Time passes in an instant. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Another year. A tumultuous, difficult one. A Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow on the Atlantic beach with loved ones. Time to catch our collective breaths. Time to remember our considerable blessings.
And to continue to look for the ideals that are America. Not lost, but for some, misplaced. I hope only for the moment.
Have a safe holiday season.