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The Lesson in a Summer Afternoon

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Kate Meyers:I don't truly believe it's summer until I'm at the ocean. Specifically, the Jersey Shore.

Woman sitting on verandah railing

It's the place I've been coming for more than four decades with my family. It's what I associate with a southerly breeze, a comfy spot on the porch, salt water cooling my skin, the ride of a wave, the warmth of a towel, sunset on the bay and an evening ice cream. It's where everything I need fits into a single drawer. I walk in bare feet, I ride my bike to the market, I shower outside and I nap by the window. The carbon footprint here is low, the serenity high.

My daughters no longer need me to rub sunscreen on their bodies two or three times a day; I only need to remind them. I don't have to stand at the water's edge -- an extra lifeguard on deck -- when they're jumping waves. Sometimes now, if I'm hot enough, I'lI go in with them and laugh. I remember when I was 6 and wore only one half of a bikini and stayed in the Atlantic for hours.

I love the continuum. My parents gave this gift, this time at the ocean, to my brothers and me, and now we give it to our children -- who love it just as much. This existence is a nod to the simpler life and a reminder that we have so much more than we need. I hope to carry it with me when I go to Colorado. I promise myself that I will slow down in my everyday life, even if it's just long enough to have a quick sit on my front porch and remember that less is often more -- and that, if we allow for it, the peace of summer is available all year long.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Berenice October 12, 2010, 9:15 AM

It is always nice to get out in the summer and share time with the kids, enjoy the ocean view, or the mountains air. Forget you have to pay bills, Buy Kamagra, or go to work. The best feeling ever.

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