So, during my life from those golden days until now, I've just kept it in my heart but never really dug deeply, holding the reasoning it in abeyance. Life gets busy, things happen and with my local connections going away over the years, I went to the beach wherever I was and enjoyed it. But I knew it just wasn't the same, yet the sea is beautiful everywhere. Once I was on the Mediterranean on military leave, looking to go swimming. When I got to the beach, it was closed and it looked like a milder sea than I witnessed in my youth on some days when we still went swimming. We just laughed about it as we walked along the shore.
Now retired, the sea here in Florida is sometimes like a lake and only on those days when a major storm approaches or pushes by off to the east, the rollers come and they make me reminisce, but it's still not quite the same. As a writer I have more time to ponder and the issue just kept on surfacing. Finally, the full reasoning for the way I felt came to the surface and I should have understood it all along. Yes, in my "Summers at Old Nags Head" it was the action in the water that was never very calm for long and that was part of it, but that wasn't the whole story. My evaluation of the ocean on that glorious beach from my past also included the memories and all those people who I knew and loved and the history and folklore of the place. And there was nowhere else that could put the entire puzzle together.
So, next week when I arrive on those shifting sands, all of the memories will flood me and as I walk by the beautiful ocean and remember my past and how it got me back here after years gone away, all of the memories of those people and their history and culture will come alive in my heart and their spirits will be strolling with me. They will remain with me now that I've finally realized their importance and hopefully the day will come when we will all gather together on the shore of another beautiful ocean deep in heaven above.