August 23, 2012

The Beach at Night

When I was a kid, my aunt and uncle bought a house at the beach.
During the summer months we would spend our weekends sitting on the sand
 and jumping in the waves and in the evening they would throw parties.
At night, once it got dark enough, my uncle would get all of us kids together, 
hand out flashlights and bring us over to the private beach to search for shipwrecks.
I can still close my eyes and see it as if it were only yesterday.
These were some of my favorite times at the beach.
There was something about the beach at night, something spooky and exhilarating.
The long stretch of sand that had been so familiar in the daylight was a different world
without light. It felt so vast, so open, anything could be there, anything could happen.
Ten year old me remembers a beach dark enough that you couldn't
see your hand stretched out in front of your face.

So we would run along the sand with our flashlights darting wildly about, 
excited and a little scared of what we might find in the night.
If you walk down the beach far enough where no one goes you will find
plenty of driftwood among other things. Once on one of these adventures
we found an old door from a ship. We would find little pieces of things, 
declare them to be shipwrecks and wonder at what had happened,
and where they had been before washing ashore on the barrier island.
The stories I made up for some reason always included France.
We didn't always find a "shipwreck" of course, sometimes we left 
without finding a single shell to decorate the wooden staircase at the house.
But these memories are at the top of my list when I think 
back on my childhood at the beach.
This summer I've spent a good amount of time on the beach at night.
And although light pollution now illuminates the sand so it's not quite as dark,
it still feels the same. Vast and open, with a million possibilities.
I feel so lucky that I was able to have these experiences as a kid,
and that I get to live near such a beautiful place.


  1. The beach at night sounds so lovely. I've only been to a beach bonfire once, and you're right, it was pretty magical. If I ever live near an ocean I will most definitely be taking advantage of having the opportunity to spend more time along the water.

  2. What beach do you live near?

    I have such great childhood memories of the beach as well.

    Loved hearing about yours.

  3. Living near a beach is like a dream come true..♥

  4. mannnn i knew there was something on my summer to do list that i forgot!! i lvoe the beach at night!

  5. The beach at night is magical! And a little frightening because you can't see what's in the water [and in jellyfish territory this is not so good]. I love your shipwreck memories, since in my family we always made miniature cities made of sand and whatever had washed up on shore.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. I love hearing from you!