Last Saturday was the type of beach day I associate with childhood. We made sandwiches in an assembly line. Packed the coolers tight. Sent out the Bat Signal and everyone showed up.
The waves were small and objectively bad, but there was no wind and the water was refreshing against the heat, so we surfed anyway. Then, pure relaxation. As the sun took the high line across the sky, we ate our sandwiches. Got too hot. Dove in the icy ocean without wetsuits. Caught our breath. Warmed in the sand and drank Mexican beer on America’s birthday. It was perfect.
When I got home I realized that my body had been stamped by the sun, like I’d passed through customs and into summer. Sure, it was an unsightly pink. Yes, it hurt when the hot water hit it in the shower. No, my dermatologist would not be happy. But it just felt...right.
Plus, the sunburn will inspire yet another nostalgic summer joy — the smell of sunscreen.