The beach is a favorite vacation destination for many people, and beachgoers all seem to have their favorite time to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Some love the action of midday, surrounded by people and peak UV exposure. Others prefer the cold sand and mysterious swish of the waves after dark. I fall into the third category of beachgoers. I cherish quiet mornings under the rising sun. My complexion disagrees with midday activity, and my fear of sea creatures and strangers keeps me away at night. Give me a beach chair and a book in the morning hours, though, and I’m as happy as a clam.
Unfortunately, I don’t get the opportunity to catch the sunrise on most beach trips. I am a mom, so my mornings are filled with Pop-Tarts and snuggles. Recently, however, I got away with some dear friends to a small cottage on the Gulf Coast. My mornings were my own, and I made every effort to maximize my early morning beach time.
My internal clock and longing to see the sunrise prompted me to rise early each morning. But it wasn’t until the last day of our trip that I actually beat the sun to the beach. The humidity of the Southern summer swallowed me whole as I followed the path to the water. The Gulf seemed suspended in midair, the fog so thick I couldn’t even make out the water’s edge.
I sat in my beach chair, eyes fixed on the eastern horizon. I was disappointed in the conditions that limited my view of the sun. The gray mist surrounding me began to relent, giving way to lighter shades of yellow and pink. While I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment the sun started to peek over the horizon, I knew it was there because I was suddenly surrounded by light.