It's a gorgeous Spring morning and we're on the beach about 20 minutes before sunrise. There are a few other folks who have arrived before us, but not more than a half-dozen. When the sun comes up, people you meet get more sociable, but right now no one is talking. The two couples lying supine and covered by blankets do not appear interested in anything except each other. The solitary walker is headed in the opposite direction from us and seems to be relishing all that starting the day on the beach has to offer.
The gentleman in the photo had staked a temporary claim on this oceanfront property and furnished the place with a beach chair and an insulated beverage container--everything required to make the most of what's about to happen. While we were there he didn't take any phone calls, update his Facebook status, check on the progress of his fantasy sports teams, or see what was going on in the world. I'm not sure he even twitched. People who arrived after us seemed to sense that the man was in a special place as no one walked in front of him.
Before heading down the beach, we stood behind him for a while as the horizon started changing color and a few "god beams" preceded the sun's arrival. It was one of several beautiful sights. The tide had created some small islands and the water, picking up the color of the sky, twinkled orange and gold as it rippled between them. Bits of shell littered the beach in some places while other stretches of sand were covered in fine lines like pin striping on a custom car.
It was one of those mornings when it's easy to lose track of how far we had walked. By the time we made it back to our entry point, the only evidence that remained of the man was the imprint of his beach chair in the sand. I'm not sure how the rest of his day went, but it started spectacularly.
To just be in the presence of nature's glory and, if you're lucky, to share those moments with a loved one is a gift best enjoyed without external connections. Unplug for a bit. The world will still be there when you reconnect.