Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beach Sounds

On Thursday, I had a pleasant bookstore visit to the Holland Barnes & Noble, for a story time. Afterwards, my family and I spent the afternoon at one of Holland's many beach parks. We went to Tunnel Park, which is right along Lake Michigan. I'm not generally gaga about beaches (they're nice, but I'm not what you'd call a Beach Person; I'm not big on swimming or sunning or water sports; I just like to sit and stare at the water), but when I came up over the dune and got my first look at the beach and lake from above, my heart did a little jump-jump. Beautiful! "Picture perfect" is really the only way to describe it. The sky was bright blue, the lake wavy but not intensely so, the sand deep and sparkly. The beach was full but not crowded, and dotted with brightly colored beach umbrellas. Lovely.

I experienced an interesting auditory phenomenon while I was on the beach. For a while, I was up maybe fifteen feet away from the shoreline, helping my younger son explore in the sand. At that spot on the beach, the sound of the waves became very muted; but the sound of voices up and down the beach -- fifty feet away or more in either direction -- carried crystal clear. Every single conversation on the beach seemed as if it was taking place right next to me, while the water seemed miles away. Very odd. I don't know if it was the wind direction, or the impact of the tall grassy dune at the back of the beach holding in the sound. But whatever it was, it was interesting.

I'll leave it to smarter minds than mine to explain the phenomenon. For now I'll assume it was "beach magic."

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