It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Feet in a hot tub.
Feet in the sand.
A warm breeze. A few collected shells.
Nice conversation. A gorgeous sunset over the ocean. (Guess where I am!)
A breathtaking view from the hotel room. And water – what is so peaceful about water (when it’s not, of course, in a violently raging storm)?
How is it that we sometimes don’t know what we need until we get it? Or, in my case, until we are gifted it. I am careful of the word “need.” I do not “need” (though I am loving it!) a few days at the luxurious Lido Beach Resort in Sarasota, Florida, in the company of my amazingly generous college roommate (thank you Dina!) and her wonderful family (hello Fred, Debra, Luana and Brian, Walt and Jené!).
What I “needed” was a rest – the I-do-not-have-an-agenda kind of rest, with all the relaxation, perspective and refreshment a good rest brings. It does me good to get outside my ordinary everyday world (much as I love that too), to eat other foods (“Fin & Crab” was outstanding tonight), to talk about other things, to see other sights.
What a godsend of a place for a rest! I am reminded that some people like to fish on the end of a jumble of rocks…
…or think giant rubber duckies are cool…
…or make impressive sand animals (is it a manatee?)…
…or write their feelings with excellent handwriting (sandwriting?). I love the beach too!
I get to see for myself some of the wildlife that could be chosen for nature programs like Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II (exceptionally well done shows). These, as Fred so kindly looked up for me, are Royal Terns.
We wondered if the ones with all black feathers on their heads are the males and the ones with only partial black are females, or vice versa. The color of their beaks made me imagine a paint color card – the kind you see at Lowe’s – with Royal Tern Beak Orange on it. The birds stick together (for safety in numbers?) and don’t let you get too close. In the water against the setting sun they are some kind of beautiful.
On the sand during the day they are harder to spot.
They clearly have one or two self-designated “spokes-terns” that do all the squawking for all the others (on which point you will have to trust me). I suppose it’s also possible that they had some sort of in-house competition for loudest/most obnoxious squawk and those that won need to continually prove their superior skill. Yes, yes, everyone on the beach hears you!
The Royal Terns undoubtedly have various other fascinating characteristics that the nature show producers would call attention to. Maybe they dive bomb their prey. Maybe they mate for life. Maybe they are fashion divas and change their feather colors with the changing seasons. I will wonder – and likely remain ignorant – because hey, so many shells, so little time!
Do you think this little lonely beauty is unbroken?