When I was a teenager, I worked in a t-shirt shop on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. I hated the seagulls, the beach, the sand, the saltwater breeze, and the tourists who wanted to pay as little as possible for cheap souvenirs. I don’t think I had ever taken a second look at the ocean because it was always there. Water beating against rock, boring. Seagull cries, annoying. However, this past weekend, the morning after my 25th class reunion, my husband and I walked on the boardwalk at 7am. I photographed a seagull in flight and listened to his soothing call as he landed at our feet. He posed for a few photos and continued to strut down the boards. Tourists smiled and I smiled back as dark jetties, wild white waves, and Cream of Wheat-colored sand invited more peace into our lives.
Atlantic City, I have run for decades, yet you welcomed me home:
My handsome husband:
The very photogenic seagull: