Fire Island

I first went to Fire Island in 1982. A friend of mine had rented a place and invited my family and I out to the island. I remember taking the ferry from Bayshore, Long Island. It seemed to take forever. When we arrived I had no idea that we would be so close to the beach. And there were deer. I had never seen deer on a beach before. Being from Los Angeles, I had never seen a deer up close and certainly never at the beach. That first visit to Fire Island did not leave an impression. It was beautiful but I did not attach anything special to it. Twenty six years later I was taken to Fire Island by another friend. This time I saw it from a different perspective. It was not like I had remembered it. This time it had a seductive quality. Breathtaking waves, miles of beach, dunes, the Lighthouse, and glorious sunsets. I guess I noticed things that I did not notice before. I don’t know why it was so different. I also did not know what an impact that Fire Island had on my senses until after I left it. Once at home I would think about it and how the waves sounded crashing against the shore. I did not need to hold a sea shell to my ear to hear the sound of those waves. It was embedded. What I find intriguing about Fire Island is that the ferry is not the only way to get there. It can be walked to from a parking lot that is a considerable distance away. One path takes you by the lighthouse and another path takes you along the bay. There are beach cottages of all sizes and descriptions that go from the bay to the shore. What I am amazed by is how much I missed the first time I went to Fire Island and how much I noticed the second time. Subsequently each time I go I see something that I did not see before. It is not that it changes. It is this feeling that comes over me whenever I am there. I feel as though I have been set free and that all is right with the world. The ocean reminds us of how small we are and that there is something out there bigger than all of us. I gain perspective when I am at Fire Island. I realize that no matter how great my problems might appear, the ocean is greater.