Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

Lately I’m Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. I’m happy dancing because of the start of school is nearly here, and at the same time I’m playing a dirge for the end of summer.

It happens every year at this time.

Last Friday, as my typical celebration slash panic set in, I loaded the kids into the car and we hit the highway, heading east for a last-days-of-summer-hurrah.

The only thing better than cruising with the windows rolled down and the radio cranked up is knowing this lies ahead…

Topsail IslandThat, my friends, is Topsail Beach, one of the three beaches that lie on the twenty-six mile stretch of Topsail Island, one of the barrier islands that stretch along North Carolina’s coast.

I wish I could take credit for the amazing aerial photograph, but as I’d rather chew off The Hubster’s toenails than get in a plane, I borrowed it from a local photographer who doesn’t share my aversion to flight. (You can check out more of his amazing work by clicking on the photo).

“I got a drink in my hand, I got my toes in the sand, all I need, is a beautiful girl…”

I doubt David Lee was thinking of Capri Suns and five year olds when he sang those lyrics (at least I hope he wasn’t), but it works for me.

We spent some time digging…

…and shelling…

…and surfing (well sorta).

I, the daring and adventurous photographer (not!!!), waded out waist deep, non-waterproof camera in hand, to get those shots. Thank heavens for my trusty sidekick who warned me of impending wave-related disasters.

Once back on dry, sandy land I attempted a bit of wildlife photography. I am alternately fascinated and terrified by seagulls…

…I admire their grace while fearing a that a Hitchcock moment will arise the moment we break open the cooler.

I managed to peel the kids away from the surf and sand so that we could wander across the road to check out the marshes of the waterway.

I really wanted to get beneath that tree and get a shot of the gnarled canopy, but there was no clear path. My daring and adventurous photographer self chickened out at the thought of my bare legs getting up close and personal with those prickly grasses.

The kids found the waterway to be much less interesting than the beach, and I share their love of ocean tides and shifting sands.

Sometimes I think Mother Nature doesn’t care for our attempts to civilize her wild places and would be perfectly content to bury all our efforts.

Other times, as I lie in the sand with my eyes closed, the rhythm of the waves and the whoosh of the rolling water become a heartbeat, and I’m a child again, cuddled against her mother’s chest.

I think e. e. cummings said it best…

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.

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Categories: Adventures, Family Life

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