Dogs … everywhere you looked, there were dogs.
Big dogs, little dogs … sometimes little dogs with big dogs … and when one dog saw another dog, they had to come together for a confab or a chase.
Lots were on leashes, but lots weren’t. That usually annoys me — large, jumpy dogs make me antsy and therefore don’t like when they’re running around loose — but everyone looked like they were having fun and I was in too good of a mood to complain.
And there were obviously people, too … singles and couples and families.
One couple tried to position their little boy with his little hat in the right place for a picture; another little guy in his yellow cap looked from a distance like he was playing with his trucks in the sand while his big brother ran around, his green hat falling off in the wind.
A child’s toy plane escaped over a wall to what is clearly supposed to be a private area, but it didn’t look hard for Dad to climb the steps and shimmy around the gate to retrieve it.
It seemed like a decent turnout, especially for a Sunday morning, but there was ample room for everyone to have their own space without walking too close to anyone.
Surely a lot of them were out for Mother’s Day, but a sunny day at the beach is its own draw, even when the ocean breeze pushes temperatures that would otherwise be comfortable toward the chilly zone.
It’s early May in the Northeast, so you take what you can get. I’m glad I grabbed my hoodie, even though the one time I tried to put the hood up, the wind blew it down.
Suzi and I had come here to Narragansett, Rhode Island, last October, for the same reason — a Sunday getaway to a nice beach about 90 minutes away from our home in Massachusetts, where the main bodies of water are rivers, ponds and streams.
A lot of them are perfectly nice when we see them on our walks, but the sand and waves and open water are just different.
In the same way the beach officially “closed” for the season early last September — basically defined as no lifeguards on duty and not having to pay to park — it doesn’t “open” for another few weeks. To be honest, unless you insist on perfect weather, it’s the best time of the year to go.
But then and now, I felt like the whole atmosphere had its own meaning. When we were there 6 1/2 months ago, it felt like a last gasp before being forced mostly inside … during a year when outside was often the saving grace.
This, however, felt like the start of something, a first opportunity to stretch our legs — at least metaphorically — before things hopefully get better.