I was hungry.  Down the beach from where I was staying on Anna Maria, Island in Florida, the Gulf Drive Cafe served good coffee and tasty peanut butter pie. I left my third floor hotel room and I looked up at the stars that were coming out.  It was going to be a beautiful, clear night. A private beach across the road called me and as I walked toward it, I had a desire to get back to simplicity, to the natural world and to peace.  I thought of the pods of dolphins, hunting for fish offshore.

When I reached the sand on other side of the road, I stopped and looked up into palm trees over my head. Wind blew through them and tousled their fronds.  I was totally relaxed, no fear touched my mind or my soul. I felt only sand gritting under my shoes.  Closer to the Gulf of Mexico, I removed my shoes and waded in the shallows.  The water must have been ten degrees cooler than the air.  On the shore, again, wet sand stuck to my feet as I walked toward the café.  I looked at the stars, trying to guess the names of the constellations.

I felt like skinny-dipping with the dolphins.  I could have jumped the waves and dived between them as I had done during an earlier visit to the beach.  I felt absolute freedom from the world. I longed to grow fins and swim away with the dolphins.   I wanted to see more of the world!

Wave sounds roared in my ears and the night could have gone on forever. But, I had reached The Gulf Drive Café.

I put my shoes back on, sat down on their patio and ordered that pie and coffee.

Bookworm (Jan.’14) adds, “That night I could have forgotten all about the costs of hotel, food and gas and just spent the rest of the year at Anna Maria Island. I wondered, ‘What it would be like to live here with nothing but the ocean waves for a companion?’”


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