Today was yet another absolutely gorgeous
day here on the west coast of Florida. A cloudless day
in the mid‑70's with low humidity and a light breeze. In fact, the temperature reached the low 80's this afternoon. I decided to wait until late afternoon before running so it would be a little cooler.
The house where we are staying is midway
down a 2 mile section of lower St. Pete Beach called Pass‑A‑Grille. It's
an old historic district which is almost all residential and has little commercial "development."
Today I ran what has become my standard
6 mile easy run here. The first mile was on the street, which is along the beach,
from my house south to the end of the island. There I crossed over the sand dunes
to the beach and headed back north. I ran along the water line where the sand
was packed. Shell fragments crunched underfoot.
Dead horseshoe crabs littered the beach near the water, along with occasional bits of debris which had washed up from
the Gulf. Half of an old tire. A
tree trunk. Other assorted items. The
beach is cleaned every morning, but each incoming tide brings new "treasures" with it.
Two miles back up the beach, I reached
the Don CeSar Beach Resort, which marks the entrance to Pass‑A‑Grille. It's
a 40+ year old, huge pink 4‑star hotel that reminds me of a Moorish palace. It
dominates the beach front for a mile or so in either direction. It also marks
the mid‑point of my run. I stopped for a drink of water at their fountain
which serves beach goers. I continued up the beach for another mile to the circular
Holiday Inn, where I turned around for the 2‑mile run home.
The beach was teeming with people who were
taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Sun bathers generating lots of lovely
scenery. :). Kids building sand castles.
Shell hunters. Walkers. A
couple of surf fishermen. I passed several other runners along the beach.
As I approached the end of the run, the
sun was hanging low to the horizon. It promised to be yet another postcard sunset. In four weeks, we have had gorgeous sunsets for all but about 5 days.....and we have
been on the beach to enjoy almost everyone one. I reached the end of the run
just in time for Sue to walk across the street and join me for the sunset. I
stretched as we watched the setting sun light up the waters of the Gulf and a thin, narrow layer of clouds on the horizon
with a brilliant display of red and orange colors. Sea gulls and pelicans joined
three porpoises in fishing and feeding about 200 feet off shore. Then,
the huge red ball disappeared into the waters and was gone. Accepting that such
beauty can be so fleeting was much more difficult than the run. But, like the
run, it will happen again tomorrow. And I will be very grateful for both.