The other day I just pulled into the parking lot at Gulf Beach to stare at the sea.
Blocking out the few drivers parked in cars around me at the Gulf Street lot, I saw nothing but water and sand. I heard the wind blowing, and cracked open the windows to let it gush around the interior of the car. Ah, fresh air. And silence, except for a seagull or two gliding above. I could see them through the windshield.
I reached for a book I happened to have in the car. I tilted my seat back and relaxed. Read, turned a page, read, turned a page, and so on.
The sun's rays warmed up the interior of the car.
Then, boy, did I get comfy. I flipped up the armrests -- on the driver's seat and the passenger seat -- and swung my legs over to the passenger seat of the car. Now, it was like I was in a recliner in my living room.
I leaned my head back against the driver's side window and, with a clear view of my black riding boots on my feet on the seat beside me, I read and read and read.
I read the book -- in the safety of my car, which was wrapped in the arms of nature. The wind was blowing through. The seagulls were gliding overhead. I was in my glory -- for about 15 minutes.
Then my stomach started to churn. Hunger? What's a person to do? Goodies wasn't open, as far as I could tell. And this sacred space was too good to spoil. Ah, there were cookies in my hatch!
So I got up, popped open the back door of the SUV and reached for my snack. Happy, I got right back into my seat, read and munched. Heaven!
I must've stayed there 30 to 45 minutes -- but they were some of the best moments I've spent lately. I felt they were a gift to myself. And I deserved it, as most of us do in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
I recognized a man getting out of his car -- and the social butterfly in me wanted to jump out and strike up a conversation. But I decided against it. This was a reflective time for him, I could see. We were both enjoying our moments of solitude -- something so hard to find these days -- and I didn't want to spoil it for either one of us.
Someimes you just have to stop -- and smell the sea.