It is a very long drive from where I live to the middle of Cape Cod, especially when slightly more than an hour of it must be done at 27mph (or slower). It is a beautiful place. I understand why everyone wants to go there. I can say without hesitation: I will never go there in summer. If the “off” season draws these kinds of crowds (this kind of traffic), I cannot imagine what the “high” season draws! Seems it would be brutal.
We spent a lovely few days. I had not been to a salt water shore for a very long time. There is something healing about it. I could have stayed on the sand forever exploring, watching the water come in and go out, the sun come up and go down, the shadows grow shorter and then longer again, making stone and shell collections, getting sun- and wind-burned.
I have spent the last 12 years as a naturalist. It is my job to know the names and stories of the things I encounter in the natural world and to share that with visitors. Now, I was a visitor – at a loss for what to call things. I am safe with “pebbles” and “shell” I suppose. Though a seaside naturalist would be able to tell you where the pebbles came from, the name of the species that once inhabited that shell and probably even the species that later made that shell a home base.
A seaside naturalist would know the common names of the plants that live along the shore, and probably also the undersea ones that wash up on the shore.
We watched more than one sunset over the bay. I know I become very contemplative when I watch the sun go down. This time, I wondered what thoughts were going through my kids’ heads.