“With the passage of time, as visions of the past dim, there are moments we will recall with such stark, crystal clear, clarity. Memories filled with almost tangible sureness and solidity. And within them we wonder, if somewhere beyond the reaches of time and space, they are still going on.” — quoted from Chainsaw, just a few minutes ago.
The heat of the day dissipated, the translucent, asphalt-heat haze temporarily driven away into darkness by cool winds carried inland on the night tide. Sand tainted breezes lap gently at the tan canvas in tandem. In the confines of the tent it gives the illusion of in- and ex- halation. It is as though one is resting within some great slumbering beast.
Here lies innocence, wrapped in a down sleeping bag, as of yet untainted and scarred by the out there. Then there is a shadow, a shaking, and a summoning. “C’mon wake up… I want to show you something.”
Bucket hat pulled on and flips are flopped through the flap. The night is brilliant under a full moon and illuminated by pole lights placed between campsites we pass. Trudging at first, then picking up the pace, inspired by curiosity.
We walk briskly beyond the endless rows of tent encampments and across the tarred golf cart track to where the campground’s borders end and oceanographic nature takes hold. Without pause the sand dune is mounted, climbed and crested… it is here we stop. There are no words spoken… there is no need for them.
A gentle tide has ascended to the base of the dunes. The sand glimmers like smooth glass as it retracts. In its wake they remain, symmetrically spaced out, their transparent skins shimmering in the moonlight. As far as the eye can see are hundreds, if not thousands, of Cannonball jellyfish. Years later it would be learned that this was a common yearly occurrence.
Memories of looking up to my eldest sister, the one who had brought me here, and searching for words. To tell her how amazed I was, to thank her for bringing me to this moment and for sharing it with me. These verbal emotions were lost, dwindling to a smile which hopefully relayed the message of a memory that will follow me to my grave, along with a few others, obtained during my family’s yearly outings to Pirateland Campgrounds in sunny Myrtle Beach, S.C. For many youthful years, the thought that we went there because, in truth, we were pirates, remained.
Yarr let us be off to seek treasure… or the kiddie pool fer young buckaneers. Yarr tis putt-putting just like the pirates used to play… there was a sunken ship and everything! Yarr off to the pirates’ playground with ye to swing and slide like no land-lover can. Yarrrrr!
Um, yeah, “childhood delusion” pretty much sums it up. But it was these fond memories that drew me back to my “pirate” roots. However, growing older the thought of making camp, cooking outside in the heat, sleeping on the ground, hiking past strangers to the beach and camp showers lost their appeal. Yet the tides beckoned.
So 5 years ago, when enough time had been put in to earn paid time off and the grandson was old enough to remember, we went back to the beach for the first time. Not to the land of pirates so fondly remembered, but to the beachside Condo of minium on Surfside Beach in Garden City… next to the pier… across the street from a classic burger and arcade joint.
We tentatively (and budget mindedly) only took 4 days. Finding it all wonderfully pleasant and earning more bonus time, the next year we took five. Yarr, ‘tis a family tradition of making memories in the making. Upon our last return excitement ran high, reservations for the coming year were made in advance… and then…Covid. Luckily our deposit was returned, sadly the trip canceled. The following year, moving took most of our summertime and funds, so meh.
Yet at the dawn of this year my pirate blood yearned to be returned to the sea, to reboot a family tradition. So raise the mizenmast me hearties, batten down the hatches and shiver yer timbers, we’ll soon set sail. Will it be memorable? Only time and jellyfish know.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.