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An Old Saltwater Gospel

August 21, 2009

The dog days of summer are rolling into the Grand Strand, panting in on thunderheads and in humidity so thick it makes you wish you had gills. The only place you can go to find a small breeze in this heavy, salty heat is the beach. And I’m savoring my last summer on the beach. As a native of these Atlantic waters, I can tell you that it’s a privilege to grow up beside the prettiest sand on the East Coast…soft and white and hot. Any honest-to-God coast dweller will tell you that the beach is a religion, a house of worship more real to them then any man-made church in the world. Looking into dancing blue and grey waters, never-ending in any direction I look, I can tell you that nothing else is more true.P8210087 P8210085

The palmettos stand proud and tall along the long, slotted wood-plank entrance into the edge of America–bending in the wind and giving flip-flop clad families a sword salute befitting royalty.

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The beams underneath the pier make my eyes ache with pleasure, as lovely as any stainglassed cathedral I’ve ever entered.

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The seagulls and sand pipers act as alterboys, leading the tides in with all their innocence and pretense as they scurry amongst the broken oystershells and sand dollars.

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In the background, the choir of sand dunes sways in harmony with the breeze to the meloncholy notes of an old saltwater gospel.

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And rows of beach chairs await those who will slowly fill the pews to gaze into the horizon and listen for the sermon to rise out of the gentle roaring of the Atlantic waves. I’m one of those gazers, and I hear a new sermon every time I go.

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