Monday, November 29, 2010

Note from Paradise

Note from Paradise

This past week, we went to Florida to visit my grandparents.  They live on the east coast by the water overlooking the Atlantic ocean. 

In my home town we have some great beaches and I often go to Fire Island and Jones Beach, but there is something special about the Florida waterfront.  For some reason everything in Florida seems brighter, the colors are more saturated, the food tastes great, and there is always a warm salty smell in the air.

I look forward to our trips to Florida and view them as short visits to paradise.  Of course, leaving the cold weather behind and getting unlimited attention from my grandparents only helps. 

So shortly after arrival, I took off my winter outfit, got into my bathing suit, slobbered a generous coating of suntan lotion on myself, and with my dad in tow, I headed straight to the beach.  I turned South and just kept on walking.  The beach was empty and stretched on for miles into the horizon, the surf was gentle and the white sand felt soft around my feet.

The ocean at the shoreline was crystal clear and gradually transitioned from light green to dark blue offshore. The water was warm and inviting and periodically I could see a perfect shell sticking out from the wet sand.

Plastic Crab-Sheva Apelbaum Every now and then, I found some interesting creatures on the beach. There was a red fishing buoy with eight mollusk shells attached to it, which made the whole thing look like some kind of a strange crab.  There was also a log that had been in the water forever, it had a thick coating of seaweed growing from it and a colony of hundreds of live snails (when I touched them, they would quickly move back inside their shells).

Sponge Tower Another sight to behold were the flocks of pelicans that were flying above. They were humongous, their large bills seemed so strange and out of place.  They flew by in a wide “V-formation”. I just stood at attention and  saluted them as they passed overhead.  Once in a while, a  lonely pelican would swoop down to skim the water looking for fish. 

Strange Fruit-Sheva Apelbaum The upper slope of the beach was filled with coconut trees and other exotic plants and fruits.  This time of the year there were no large coconuts on them, but I did manage to find a long pole and picked three little coconuts.

After what seemed like forever, we finally turned around and headed back home. When we arrived, I checked out the map and calculated that we had walked over five miles! Later, during dinner, I couldn’t wait to get to bed, and when I finally did, I fell asleep immediately.  Paradise can be exhausting, you know.


  1. Dear Sheva, metuka, how lovely you describe your visit to your grandparents and your walk at the beach! What an adventures this walk was, full of emotions and excitement and beauty! What a wonderful eye you have at such a young age to really "see" the mysteries of nature and what a tender soul to cherish and enjoy them! Don't loose that child ever Sheva - always remember this girl, walking under the sun at the beach - happily being in paradise...

  2. It sounds like you had the time of your life--relaxation pure, plus wonderful exercise in the fresh salty air. Take a look at my blog, and you'll see the other coast of the peninsula!

    Thanks for the wonderful description of your paradise walk!

  3. You know, Sheva...Savta used to remind us to always keep a happy "back pocket happy thought" ready and available to comfort us in times of stress. It should be complete with as many sensation memories of taste, smell, sight, feel, and sound as possible and when we pull it out of our back pocket, it would be sure to help us when we would need. I think this memory of Paradise would make a great one for you to use as your back pocket happy thought.

  4. Thank you, ladies!

    Yael: Thank you so much. I will definitely always remember being in paradise.
    Dawn: I looked at your blog. The water is so nice, and the raccoons are very funny.
    Mommy: Great idea… I will do that.