I love the beach in August, right now, when the water is as warm as a bath, but the waves are wild and exciting.
I love getting a different beach house every time, but I like this one enough to get it again.
I love seeing the little toddlers digging intently in the sand, as if it were the most important job on earth.
I love watching a plump two-year-old prancing about in her outrageous ruffled bathing suit and floppy sun hat, lifting her knees high above her reflection across the wet sand.
I love the sight of a seven-year-old racing delightedly out of the foaming water, dragging a net on a stick behind him, reaching for his grandpa's hand with all his heart.
I love pretending not to notice the young mother photographing her baby boy who is sitting in the deep, warm moat of a sandcastle.
I love the twelve-year-old doing cartwheels on the damp, firm sand, just because she can.
I don't even mind the happy man with a beer strolling through waist high water with his friend. They smile, breathe, relax.
The sound of waves, wind chimes, pelicans and whooshing ocean breezes across the dunes fills my ears along with sand and saltwater.
I settle under the shade of our umbrella and try to read with sticky salt on my arms, but there is so much happiness all around me, I just can't concentrate. Blue sky, white clouds, gray sand, green water and every imaginable color of beach towel surround relaxing people everywhere.
Nobody cares if the kids get dirty. There is always a washing machine at the beach house. And a shower. When you get shampoo in your mouth after an afternoon in the Atlantic, it actually tastes sweet.
And when you go to sleep at night, you find yourself feeling like the waves are still rolling you back and forth. I'm so thankful that God made this place.