It’s a pretty glorious thing having the opportunity to head to the beach no matter what the season, especially when you just need a break from reality. Living here gives me the chance to walk by the water and breathe in some fresh, salty air while clearing my mind. Whether I am having a wonderful day or one of the hardest days I’ve lived thus far, all I need to do is remove my shoes and head down the sandy steps to where the ocean water kisses the dry sand. The combination of the air to the beautiful landscape to the feeling improves my day almost instantly. There is so much beauty and truth in this action, and having this clear presence somehow sets my mind free. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, and I am lucky to experience it any season of the year, any day of the week, and almost any time of the day.
Living down here is peaceful for the most part. I say for the most part because sometimes us locals get taken advantage of. I feel that people who don’t live down here year-round, which we term “shoobies” don’t realize that people do indeed live here all year long and that they do not treat us properly. When these “foreigners” come to town, all we ask is that they treat our beaches, our cities, and our people with open arms, open hearts, and respect. We love that they come to us and help improve our economies of all sorts, but they must understand that they must share the land that we live on, the beaches we relax by, and the air we breathe and acknowledge our everyday presence as though it were his and her own. But to rekindle what I had mentioned earlier, it is typically relaxing. It is quiet. It is clean. It is what others would consider “dead.” But in the off-season, I wouldn’t necessarily consider the shore to be a ghost town because there are quite a few people who live down here year-round, though our population obviously does not compare to any city’s nor any suburban area’s. Almost all of the restaurants and shops are open throughout the year, but the production and revenues of such businesses are nowhere near that of which they make during the months of May to October.
What I enjoy most about not only living at the beach throughout the year or having grown up here my entire life, but also how much more respect I have for supporting local businesses and how much admiration I have for the environment and earth. Living down here has taught me to give back to the community and shop at local boutiques and markets, not only supporting corporate America. Besides showing support for mom-and-pop shops, we have been nurtured and educated to love the earth, to keep our beaches clean, to keep our trash and recyclables separate. But most importantly, we have been taught to treat each other the way we prefer to be treated so that one day, we can all come together and welcome other individuals far and near to the community in which we live, and to offer a helping hand to growing families who choose to make our beaches their new residences.