Here at my beach side condo, my favorite spot is the balcony. While there are 96 of them in the building, each seems to stand alone, providing a solitary view of the gulf and its intricacies and the beach activities.
My habit is to take a seat on the balcony first thing in the morning while I have my first dose of caffeine - a diet Dr. Pepper or its generic equivalent. I watch the early morning beach walkers get their exercise or just stroll leisurely along the water's edge. I enjoy the antics of the very young children, taken out early to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, as they tiptoe into the water for their first experience with its powerful tides. I particularly enjoy the lovers - hand in hand as they meander along the shore, sometimes stopping to investigate a particularly interesting shell or just for a hug or passionate kiss. Often these are the "more mature" lovers - many of whom have shared the joys of beach walks for fifty years or so.
Later in the day, I go to the balcony for my sunbathing time. If you could see me in my swimsuit, you would understand why I choose to do that more privately. I get myself all set with a huge glass of juice, a juicy romance novel, my cell phone and prepare for my sun worship time. I usually last about twenty minutes before I burn. Often I repeat this experience several times throughout the day.
At the end of the day, I again retreat to the balcony to watch the sunset, its brilliance more vivid against the ocean horizon. This time I take a camera - or more recently the cell phone camera - and make sure that I capture the moment for eternity. A couple of times I have had the privilege of being an uninvited guest at a sunset wedding on the beach. These are extra special.
When the princes were much younger, I would frequent the balcony again after they had fallen asleep to reflect upon the day and just relax. Back when I had a husband, we would share this time, sometimes wrapping up in blankets to fight off the night chill from ocean breezes. It was a wonderful way to end the day.
I chose this topic for today because Prince 2 used the same topic for his blog today on myspace. He, like me, finds solace on the balcony here at the beach. He suffered a shock yesterday. His friend's mom died - very unexpectedly. Prince 2 had talked with her several times since he had been here, discussing their mutual concern for her son and his current lack of direction. Prince 2 had promised to call her again after he slept on the problem and had some thoughts for solutions. Instead, he had a phone call informing him of her demise. He retreated to the balcony, not only for privacy for his phone calls, but also seeking the comfort of the timeless movement of the ocean its soothing sounds as the waves break near the shore.
Balcony = Peace.