At the beach

 Taken from the balcony of our hotel room one morning. Taken from the balcony of our hotel room one morning.

Our family has been visiting Virginia Beach on vacation for the past few years and I love it.

I love the tacky gift shops, arcades, oversized beach towels, haunted houses, ferris wheels, fried fish, henna tattoo parlours, pizza by the slice, and ice cream on every block. It’s all great fun really.

And there’s the ocean itself – big and beautiful, stretching across the length of the whole wide sky. Humans have laughed and played together at the edge of land and water for hundreds of years.

Playing in the ebb and flow of the surf stirs old echoes. Like so many things in my life, I can’t go to the beach without thinking about my father. In my memories, he’s lean and tanned, eternally young. We’re on the trip to the beach we took with several other families back when I was just a boy. While the other adults sat on their towels underneath umbrellas he played out in the salty water with the children all day long.

It makes me wonder what my own daughter will remember about our trips. What memories of me will she carry forwards, out onto the undiscovered beaches waiting there in her future?