The other day I was thinking of my 16th summer. I remember it as being warm but that could just be nostalgia and sentimentality taking advantage of the situation. Drivers Licences were fresh and new. We used to to drop off our little sisters at their afternoon swimming lesson sessions and then go to our favorite secret (kind of) beach. It’s at the bottom of a residential area that rests on some cliffs, so not too many found their way to it.
We already had our bathing suits on, so we parked and then skipped down the stairs to the narrow strip of sand. Dropping our towels and shorts on the rocks, we ran straight into the water. Cold. It was cold but oh so nice! Swimming a short way out and then back in again was rewarded by just floating on the salty surface, with the occasional piece of kelp floating by. There is a big rock out in the water that resembles a huge fin. I would give myself the shivers, imagining that some horrifyingly large, pre-historic shark lay in wait for anyone who dared to swim out into the ocean…
Lying on our towels, we drip-dried and warmed up in the late afternoon sun. The light was always golden with a tinge of orange and red. There was always a slight breeze but it was never cold and always salty. Everything was salty. We would watch the other people on the beach as they dipped their toes in the water or went straight over to the tide pools.
Before we knew it, the hour was up and it was time to go back up to the car and collect our sisters from the pool again.
Come to think of it, it was probably only a two-week period. Yet in my mind it was forever and it was never better.