After the rain last night, it cooled off a bit today. At least enough for us to get a good row in with the group. We were all mindful of our missing friend E. but put our backs into pulling on the oars. We didn't talk a whole lot but towards the end of the row when we were heading back to the marina at a good clip with the tide running in our favor, we were laughing. The racing boats were out for their afternoon practice with their multi-hued spinnakers billowing. It was all really wonderful to be on the water and to be alive.
When I was going through some things in my office, I found an old photo of me with my older cousin. We were shirtless and barefoot. Just two kids having a great time without a care in the world. It was a day like that today. I could feel that kind of freedom like I experienced when I was a kid running wild through the woods and fields during summer break. Those first few days when I was out of school with the whole summer stretched before me were wonderful times.
Back then, when life was a lot simpler, I didn't put on shoes except on Sunday, would play all day doing something, and really had only minimal problems to deal with. I would mostly try to figure out how to have a good time with my cousin without getting punished by an adult. Since he was three years older, I generally was the fall guy for most of our antics. Those summer days were magical, and the nights spent on the porch listening to some far off radio station were serene. I would listen to music that wasn't played on our local station. Sometimes I would fall asleep on the old glider on the porch and spend the night there without a care in the world. Knowing that the next day would bring new adventures was enough for me.
Retirement is feeling like an endless summer vacation so far. I'm finding that it's possible to recapture that feeling of freedom and fun. I'm still a kid at heart, and I'm enjoying the new life that I've found. I may occasionally feel a bit undone without a formal schedule, but I can tell that I'm getting used to setting my own hours. No shirt, no shoes, no problem..... Just for today Life's a Beach.