Waking before sunrise, without an alarm, called by the possibility of shells on the shore, sand in my toes, the light of dawn, clouds that change from grey white to peach mango, with the rise of a star, where the Atlantic meets sky,
the heat that follows, the lack of layers, bare skin, bodies revealed, in all our awkward glory, fat rolls, wrinkles, scars, cellulite, curves,
the way the day unfolds between shell walks and wave jumping, sand castles and sandwiches, the ease of family, of three generations, connected by blood and marriage, three adults to one child,
the chance to be kid-free for an afternoon, bike rides and paddle boards, the face of the manatee that swam underneath me, margaritas at the fish house called J.B's, rock shrimp and raw oysters, complete conversations, uninterrupted adult time,
Elias's insider tour of Daytona Speedway, seventeen elevators and forty-two escalators, Olive finally feeling better after fever-filled days, a cough that kept us all up at night, (but still we rose), a pontoon boat ride on the Dead River, alligators and Annihingas, turtles and blue herons, clouds in the mirror, the light on our faces, our bodies, on bodies of water, the light, always the light, and heat,
oh how I'll miss thee.