Out of Reach


Image Source: Joel Meyerowitz

I dream at night, before sleep. In the dark, in bed next to the window, with the cruel, frigid winter night seeping in, I dream that the sound of the snow-blower is really the sound of a lawnmower, and that the sound of the whipping wind is really the sound of the surf. The cold tapping on the thin window is really a gentle afternoon sea breeze, wafting over the dunes to cool skin exposed to too much summer sun. I dream, and the endless winter becomes easier to bear.

I dream of the cabin, tucked just inside the dunes, not offering ocean views. I can’t see the surf from my bedroom, but I hear it, a mere two-minute walk away. And I hear the surf in the winter wind howling two inches outside my bed. The waves are just out of reach, but they are there. I dream of summers in the cabin, on the beach, laying in the sun, rolling in the cool water, the breakers crashing over our bodies as we lie naked before the world, before the summer. I dream of lying in bed at the cabin, the waves crashing, the windows open to a gentle warm breeze.

I dream of hair wet and matted with ocean water, and skin sticky with ice cream and slick with lotion. I smell salt and sweat and campfires and taste salt-water taffy and freedom, from school, from obligation, from our normal system of structure and routine. I taste and smell and feel the freedom of an entire summer next to the pounding waves.

And all winter the dreams of summer are just out of reach. But I dream, and the winter fades and the summer calls and the dreams of freedom see me to sleep and place me another day closer…

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14 comments
  1. I dream of spring too. Just not as eloquently.

    • As long as we’re out of the Brown (ground, mud, bare trees, etc.) Season. *grin* I should say that I do love winter. Up until about…well, now. And I love winters where it’s, y’know, winter-y. When it’s not, guh…

  2. Quite beautiful. The last paragraph is especially lovely.

    • Thank you, ma’am.

  3. I do the same thing, Brian, but with traffic noise. I pretend it’s the surf. Beautiful post! Summer isn’t so far off.

    • Getting there, right? Glad to see I’m not the only dreamer out there…

  4. beautiful! I grew up in northern Minnesota, and I remember vividly one January, I dreamed of warm summer breezes and a sprawling lawn of green. Then I woke up to dark cold winter and sub zero temps. The disappointment was almost more than I could handle. Now I live in Florida!

    • HAH! Awesome. That’s like every possible weather extreme in one comment!

  5. Lovely. I will read this again and again.
    I love all things summer and/or tropical. When I was a kid I used to fill notebook pages with nothing but words I liked. Most often they were things like this: sunglasses, california, seashell, dolphin, palm tree….and then I’d draw little pictures to go with it. I actually tried to construct a palm tree in my bedroom using paper.

    Ooh, Florida is one of my favorite places.

    • I lived in Jax for five years and hated it, but I haven’t stepped foot in FL in a quarter of a centruy now. Perhaps it’s time…

      Keep those lists coming! Great stuff.

  6. Gorgeous writing. Really sumptuous. I love how this makes me think about all the ways in which we are here, and wish we are there, wherever here is, and wherever there is. For me, the here-there wishing has to do with South Texas summer heat, and closing my eyes and pretending the thin cool from the air conditioner is the first taste of autumn.

    However, you take this piece so much farther. Suddenly, the here-there becomes a wish for the endless summer of potential and anticipation.

    So, so impressed! You’ve given me much to think about today. Love that.

    • Glad to be here and there for you, Bluebird!

  7. morezennow said:

    I live in the land of eternal summer sans ocean, which I crave. Lovely words for this cacti surrounded water lover. Time to dust off the bikini and head to the beach, somewhere other than here…

    • Kiddie pool + hose = land-locked Endless Summer…

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