Every September our family and a lot of close friends gather at a quiet, 1950’s era motel on Florida’s Space Coast to reacquaint and recharge. It’s a long weekend reunion filled with sunny skies, miles of Atlantic beach, pool time, live music, savage card games long into the wee hours, seafood measured in the pounds, all the fixin’s and just a bit more than enough beverage to wash it all down. Everyone contributes and everyone enjoys the fellowship.
As woud be expected, the mornings are slow to rise. Coffee pots perk strong, dark beans to pump some life back into the party-hardy clan weary from cash loss, laughter and all manner of excess from the night prior. Early risers are few. Those who manage, pass one another with muted greetings to find a place not to wet with morning dew to sit and ponder a new day and take in all that Mother Nature is about to roll out. Ummm… All this, and a cup of Joe!
For sure, this old photographer enjoys all that banter described above. Family means so much. But come the next morning there’s always questionable chance I can pull myself out of bed before the sun. Anytime we have the opportunity to rise to a new day while on the Atlantic coast, there’s going to be visual rewards. Effort is the price one pays to be welcomed with such serenity and shear magnificence. Leave the edge of civilization and meander onto the high shoreline in seaside gardens where sea oats and sea grape grow, where wind and high tides have left waves of undulating sand carvings in the dunes. There, follow the prints of the brown rabbit and ghost crab who were there before light, foraging for noctornal morsels. We respect them and carefully watch our steps. After all, it’s where they live. We are only guests.
I think it’s worth the effort to rise, shake out the cobwebs, brew a pot and grab the camera. Step into brisk fall air and find yourself the perfect place to capture, for memories’ sake, that “Floridian Minute.” It’s that amazing fraction of a day when the Sun is not quite finished rising. Watch closely as it creeps higher and higher. Almost like magic, night turns into day. There is inspiration and color everywhere. Step on to the edge of the Atlantic. She’s cast her shell jewels upon the sand for all to see. We must look close and remember, as every wave she casts ashore rewrites her never ending story. Sure is easy to see why we love to make our homes, retire and reunite — in Florida.