Being a native of Hilton Head, I’ve grown up practically living on the beach. From the summer days soaking up the sun to the summer nights drenched in saltwater and pink skies fading into the horizon, I’ve always had the beach ingrained in my soul. The past few months have been a whirlwind for us all.
The island practically shut down at one point and I think it is safe to say I was speechless. It left a bustling town during the peak tourist months of May and June with only the cicadas buzzing.
When usually catching some waves this time of year with my friends out in the neck-deep surf, we now spend our time on zoom calls with a beach as our background instead of actually being on location. From the spike ball nets, tan lines, and the yeti coolers filled with waters and snacks and the sound of waves crashing on the shore, to social distancing as the new norm.
Staying six feet apart to uphold the standard that health officials have told us to live by is a little difficult when we are busy cruising through the sand playing another round of spike ball. The sand crunching underneath our feet is a satisfying feeling; to finally feel the freedom of open-air, living once more.
In today’s age of technology and communication capabilities, we are never “apart” from friends and family. We have the video calling capabilities at the tip of our fingers to reach out to people. There is always a silver lining in all the chaos of the 21st century. Dolphins can swim freely without the carelessness of humans, turtles have come ashore to rest and the deer reclaimed the streets that once ran through their homes.
Walking onto the beach after the crowds were lessened by a pandemic, the sand shone brighter than before and the water was clearer than ever before. The brown saltwater glimmered under the summer sun.