On our last morning at the beach on a recent getaway, my daughter woke up just as the last orange and gold streaks of sunrise reflected off the Intracoastal Waterway. The gorgeous start to the day made me wish we had more time to spend in the slight chill of April as the azaleas revealed their blooms. But spending even a few days in the fleeting colors of springtime on the coast was worth the drive. We collected shells on the beach, went into Wrightsville Beach for lunch and shopping on a rainy morning, and even waded into the frigid ocean to jump the waves.
I headed out for a slow run one evening towards the south end of Figure 8 Island. The sun had started its descent over the waterway when I reached the end of the island, where the departed tide left behind a narrow river flowing through the marsh. I forgot about finishing my run for several minutes, savoring the scenic solitude of my favorite place since childhood. Our trips to the beach never seem long enough, but I try to recall moments like these when I’m far away from the sounds of crashing waves and pungent scent of the marsh.