The minivan creeps along 4th street; the only relief from the sweltering heat coming from the ocean. The taunting breeze slips in through the open windows. It mixes in with the sounds of the radio: the latest country star wailing about her lost love or a good night at the bar. But my mind is on the shore line and the salt air.

Loaded down arms with coolers, and chairs, and towels, and umbrellas… we trudge up the hill. I shuck off my flip-flops as I make my way over the dune, following the crashing sound of the Atlantic.

I stand at the top surveying the beach. My eyes scan across the umbrella spotted sand looking for a bare space. I shed the beach tools and the constricting t-shirt, race my brother to the surf. The foam washes over my toes making me gasp. The sparkling liquid that looked so inviting from above delights in freezing my limbs. The ocean is not for the timid though so I plunge into the next broken wave.

Up, up, and over the crest. Immersed in the green sea I smile at the receding shore.

On my towel after my swim I close my eyes. Relishing the feel of my salt-crusted skin, the sun painting my body, the burn and grit of the sand under my toes. This place is home.

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