The breeze brushed the sun-bathed surface of the water just enough to create shimmering diamonds of light as far as the eye could see. I could almost hear the laughter of my grandchildren splashing in the surf. I could almost smell the scent of salt drying on their sun-kissed skin emerging from splashing in the surf. So much to savor and celebrate.
Every day is cause for celebration because it takes a whole lot of celebration to rise above the sorrows of life. And every Deep South celebration has a sensuousness to it: sights and smells, touches and tastes that seems bolder and broader than anywhere else. You can smell the storms before you see them; you can even smell the sunlight as it reaches down to caress your skin. You can taste the tingle of the cool breeze coming off the water as it whispers across your bare skin being baked by the sun. And you shiver, as much from the pure joy of it all as it is from the breeze blowing by.
The beaches of Biloxi are more beautiful now than I ever remembered them being. With the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and the post-Katrina clean-up, many of the old fifties-era kitsch shops are a thing of the past, replaced by new upscale casinos and miles of new virgin white sand. Pristine piers lead out into the water, and brand new benches dot the boardwalks. The trees that were left leafless and without any hope of recovery have been given new life as sculptures with roots by artists with visions of vitality re-imagined.
It was all I could do to keep myself from pressing my flesh into the warm embrace of the sand and attempting to walk the diamond path all the way to the horizon. But Nick was playing another lacrosse game, and I still hadn’t seen Scott’s garden show display. So, I didn’t succumb to the siren song of the sea and sand, but I certainly enjoyed the journey from one destination to the next.
As it turns out, at the garden show, I got to watch Scott putting his best sales mojo onto a prospective pool customer before I took Buffy out to a waterfront restaurant for good salty oysters on the half-shell. After lunch, I got to watch Nick score several goals to lead his team to a win while his sister sat in my lap. Like this wasn’t heavenly enough, my niece Melanie, her husband and two little boys came to join us at the field. This may not have been Super Bowl Sunday, but it certainly was a super Sunday.