Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Beach

I went to the beach today, and discovered that cell phones now work there. The last time I spent any amount of time on a populated beach, this had not been the case, and I had been able to spend a couple of brilliant and enjoyable hours away from people who at times seemed to be talking only to themselves. It still astonishes me how many people don't just want to get away from it all, who want to be found and available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. I frequently disappear from my friends' lives, on some occasions for weeks, so the idea that most people do just the opposite is kind of mind-boggling. They would probably also react in the same manner if I were to tell them how often I don't have my cell phone on my person. For example, today at the beach; I left the cell phone home. No one called.

What I also discovered, and what heartened me, is that the beach is pretty much the same as it has always been. There are the incredibly tanned people who come to the beach simply to lay out in the sun and slowly destroy their skin. There are the teenagers, happy to have some place to go. There are the couples, and the older couples who seem to like bringing their checker board table to the very edge of what could be termed "the beach". And there are the families. The same beach activities are always popular. Digging a giant hole seems to hold the same attraction for generation after generation; and kids of all ages get in on it. I'm not sure why the giant hole is such a wonderment of beach scenery. Maybe it is because digging a hole requires a lot less skill than actually building something. As long as you're digging down, you're probably doing it right. Boogie boards, skim boards, and floaties were present. As was the seemingly requisite game of catch between a big brother and his little sister.

The further advances technology is going to make in my lifetime is unimaginable for me. And they are mostly for good. iPods cut out a lot of the old transistor radio noise a beach in the 1950s would have, mostly because most beach bunnies (and everyone else) comes prepared with them. And Wii games are fun. Hundreds of channels to fill the day with also hold some pleasure. But for some reason, I never feel better than I do after I spend a day outside; especially at the beach. And I kind of hope all of those little kids I passed today on my ramble down the shore will feel the same way.

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