when we arrived at Jones Beach. Could this be a more perfect beach day?
I commented that if the deep azure of the sky had a few puffy clouds it might be even more perfect.
It was wonderful, though, getting on the sand so early that the crater was just feet away from our chairs. It would keep pesky beachgoers (just like us) at a distance, and yet afford us entertainment throughout the morning.
Someone had worked hard at digging it, that was for sure. How deep did it go? I imagined an underground grotto populated by hibernating seagulls and some of the sharks the lifeguards warned us against as they hurriedly blew their whistles and hustled swimmers out of the drink for about half an hour.
Little kids and parents approached the side of the crater. Parents, one after the other: Don’t touch, someone else made that, its theirs. Ever vigilant. We thought children would defy their mothers and fathers, but they all seemed too shy or intimidated to jump right in, as we thought at least some would.
One girl drifted all around the crater’s edge, touched the sand, drifted some more, while mom waited impatiently for her to come down to the ocean. (Note: thongs are the suit du jour.) The daughter peeked over the side, took a handful of sand, followed when her mother beckoned, then gravitated back to the crater.
It was a little like that psychology experiment with the kids and the marshmallows. They’re given just one and told that if they wait to eat it they’ll get three. When we watch through the hidden window, they almost all stuff their faces immediately. In this case, delayed gratification, or no gratification, seemed the rule of thumb. I did see a boy burying himself in sand. Maybe he would brave the crater?
In all the sand-and-surf delight and bonhomie that seems ever present post-Covid (post- in our hard fought corner of the country, New York), something stood out. The ice cream vendor was back – Chipwich! Frozen milky way bars! Frozen fruit bars!
Jorge hadn’t sold on the beach last summer during the pandemic. Now he was back, and a coconut Froz Fruit never tasted so good.
Those puffy clouds? They arrived as we got ready to go. What is more perfect than perfect?
I don’t know, you tell me.