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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Myrtle Beach, SC
I come across one that only has a few floors amongst the giants of the area. I get this incredible deal for the week - it is at a hostel price for a private room, with a balcony and a view of the ocean. The benefits of visiting during off season, I suppose. But, I can be at the beach in any season, in any weather, so it doesn't matter to me if it is off-season or not. I have spent winter days on the beach, with a picnic with hot chocolate and building sand castles. I have sat under a beach pavilion, reading my novel in stormy weather. If I had the opportunity, I would probably be one of those who would runs to the ocean during a hurricane.
Myrtle Beach is a great walking beach. Walking is my meditation. I spent many early mornings before my hour drive to work in Boston, walking the streets before life invaded them. Now, here, I can walk for miles on hard sand, while reaping the healing benefits of the ocean (and ignoring the sky-scraper hotels). I also go swimming, but for those natives of Myrtle Beach the water is much too cold. For me, a New Englander, the water is certainly swimmable.
I spent most of my time either walking on the beach or sitting and reading on the beach. I must be changing my signal, because I meet people along the way as I walk and am approached by people during my sits. An older man begins a conversation with me, using my book as the opening topic. Over the course of the next few days, he comes to visit me, inviting me to dinner and to spend time with him. I enjoy the conversations, but I decline the invitations. I have begun to sense his attraction to me, and I don't feel the same. I am in my 40's and he in his 70's...I don't even think about this being a possibility due to the age difference. Not that I don't think it could happen to someone, but this was not for me. My radar to find a romantic partner isn't even on, never mind with someone 30 years older.
He is a nice guy however, and we connect because he is a 12 stepper. I easily recognize the lingo and deduce that he attends a 12 step group. I had been in Al-anon for many years, but had reached a point where it was no longer supportive of my spiritual growth and I sought support outside of that group, and outside of any organized religion. I grew up Catholic and no long practiced this either. This native of South Carolina was deeply involved in both. So, even if I did have any attraction, this would have been a deal breaker for me. We communicated via email for a short while after but I couldn't handle all of the 'god' talk. We parted with an open invitation that if I ever came back to SC, then I was welcome to visit. That was a perfect way to end it for me.
Again, I am tempted to stay here. It is affordable and I am right on the beach....perfect....however, I don't. The need to keep on moving is still with me. In retrospect, I wish I had stayed longer in some of these places and let myself experience more. Yet, at the time, I was where I was in my thinking and emotionally and I accept it. I left.....heading towards supportive friends, albeit away from the coast. I say my good-byes to the ocean and head West.
Posted by AK at 9:48 AM