What has been will be again; what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.Ecclesiates 1:9
Amy’s theme for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge — Under the Sun — couldn’t come at a better time. Bert and I are wrapping up a rare two-week vacation at our favorite beach in South Carolina — Pawleys Island — and each year we look forward to the same old, same old. We love the familiarity of our place.
But this year we may have to disagree with Solomon who’s credited with saying “There is nothing new under the sun.” Because this year, some things WERE new.
First, I must admit that I wasn’t sure the three pre-teens staying in our beach house would get up in time to see a sunrise. But they did. Yes, there was a bit of hesitation. Grumbling even. But when they emerged onto the beach in partial darkness with only the wind and waves for accompaniment, they were hooked. With phones in hand, they waited patiently to snap their first pictures of a sun moving upward from the horizon to light the day. And I stood behind them, proud to be a mover and a shaker of sorts. It was a first, but hopefully not a last.
First Major Critter
Second, we’ve seen more critters than we can count at the beach. Some are in the ocean — like dolphins that get our attention when anyone sights an arch or two. And some on the beach, like jellyfish that wash ashore and get poked or prodded by kids curious to see what they’re made of.
But seeing a young ‘gator emerge from the ocean waters onto the beach: well, that was a first. Last week, every person on the South End of Pawleys at the Birds’ Nest section cautiously wrenched themselves out of their beach chairs to see the critter, keeping their distance but taking shot after shot at this little one who seemed as stunned as we were.
Fortunately, after about a half-hour wait, a take-charge lady from animal control arrived and lassoed the little dude like she’s probably done with others a thousand times before. For almost all of us standing and staring though, it was a first (and memorable) under-the-sun experience.
First Day on a Renourished Beach
Third, Pawleys needed new sand. With normal beach erosion and high tides threatening to flood homes and cause water-related problems that any good barrier island can expect, it was time for a renourishment. But what we got was jaw-dropping. With a shocking 1.1 million cubic yards of sand, Pawleys South End looked more like a moonscape than the soft, welcoming beach we had become accustomed to. We’ll get used to it, I suppose, but this was definitely something new under the sun for us regulars.
First Hurricane, First Surfers
Finally, we’ve both been through hurricanes before (We grew up in Louisiana!) but never at the beach. That ended with our late-night watch of Hurricane Isaias pummeling Pawleys Island. So what happened? First, lots of rain. Then flooding of the marshes, washing up tons of brown marsh grass onto highways, driveways, and lawns. But then, during the morning after the storm, an onslaught of surfers (70 maybe?) lobbied for positions at the North End near Pawleys Pier. It was a first for us to see so many, especially in a Southern state.
Lots of firsts this year, but hopefully not any “lasts.” In fact, most of us who are lucky enough to be at the beach agree on one thing: We’re happy to be under the sun for yet another day.
Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Home now and using aloe for sunburn,
Rusha & Bert
Photo at top: A first shot at rain at sunrise on Pawleys Island, SC.
Be sure to check out all the entries in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Under the Sun at Amy’s blog, The World Is a Book.
And if you like photos of beaches, stay tuned to Oh, the Places We See. We’re starting a series of posts that will make you hanker to get a little sand between your toes and some color on your cheeks. It’s BEACH WEEK on the blog, coming up!