Beaches. Places to relax, sit and ponder the beauty and power of the universe.
All summer long, visitors will spend hours on these beaches, walking them, combing the ground for shells, pebbles, agates, driftwood, lost civilizations.
Children will be running around chasing each other, chasing birds, running after waves.
And even adults will attempt to surf and play in the cold waters without giving much thought to its dangers.
Yes, this is the killing season on most beaches. No. I'm not talking about sharks or boat accidents, though these will make the evening news. I'm talking about rip tides with big undertow, logs being slammed on shore, people being dragged out to sea.
People have turned their backs to the Ocean and they have been assaulted by errant waves, thrown down, battered. all in a matter of seconds. It happened to me while I was taking pictures on a beautifully sunny day with gentle winds. I was not paying attention to the waves, and didn't see one come at me. I was knocked down and pulled under for what seemed like a very long time. When I was finally able to stand up, and moved away, I realized how cavalier I had been. I had been warned that people drowned in this area; the warning signs all spelled out the dangers.
I had not paid any attention.
Enjoy the beaches on your vacation.
But, read and heed the warning signs.