This past Saturday was the first day I have had off from both jobs since mid October. I made plans with a good friend to meet and we headed to Assateague Island. For December 15 it was sunny and fairly warm. It is about an hour and a half drive from my home. It was a lovely drive. My friend and I chatted, caught up on things, laughed, joked, discussed and just enjoyed hanging out. My friend remarked how long it was taking to get to the ocean and I said it seems longer as last time we went in the fog. We stopped at Assateague’s visitor center and enjoyed looking in the aquariums they had set up of life in the surrounding bays and in the ocean. We both loved watching the seahorse move around. It was mesmerizing. We then headed back to the car to cross the bridge to the island. In the parking lot someone had a life-size Santa sitting in the front passenger seat of their car. It was a bit odd. As we crossed the bridge and headed onto the island I was surprised at the speed some cars were traveling on the roads. The island and surrounding communities are quite empty this time of year which is why I love going now but some people were driving about the island as if they were late for an important meeting. It is a lovely peaceful bit of nature with hardly any cars around. Scrub grass, marsh grass, sand dunes and the ocean are all around and these people were missing it. My friend and I drove all over the paved road of the island as we did not have a beach pass nor a vehicle suited for beach driving. We settled on parking in the state park portion of the park. We got out and headed towards the sound of the ocean. As we passed by a rangers station we were surprised to see a sign of what to do if we found ammunition, grenades, cannonballs or the such. Every so often you hear of them finding unexploded ordinance on the beaches down here. Thankfully we did not find any. We headed up the dunes and arrived on the other side where I had hoped to see the wild horses of Assateague but instead found about thirty miles of empty beach. It was breathtaking after I got over my disappointment of not seeing the horses. I had never been on that much of empty land before except once in the Midwest when I stood on the edge of a corn field and could see Chicago seventy miles away with nothing in between. This was amazing to the left and right empty beach for miles and right in front ocean with no land until Europe. My friend said he felt small standing next to the ocean. I started walking towards the waterline and picking up shells. The shells are different here than where I grew up in New England. I picked up some neat clam and oyster shells. My friend said he had never walked the beach and just picked up shells. To me it was as natural as breathing. I have been doing it since I was about three. Sand dollars, rocks and razor clams in New England, clam, oyster shells and other shells down here. My favorite thing to see besides the miles of beach and ocean was a piping plover chasing the waves eating it’s dinner.
It was a beautiful time on the island even though I wasn’t able to see any ponies. I was filled with awe and connection with nature and the universe. I am so glad I made time to go down there with my friend.
As Monty Python would say “and now for something completely different” Abby is back to live with me for the winter. My mom and step dad dropped her off today as they head to their winter home tomorrow. Abby is acting as if she never left me eight months ago. I have to admit I did miss her and it was nice to come home to someone tonight. Boy did she meow at me for fifteen minutes after I got home from work.
Hope you can still find wonders and marvels in your life-be it with family, friends, strangers, pets, animals, nature or just being..it is my wish for you.