|Pierce and Camille, evening dune walk, Navarre Beach, June 2016|
There are well established rituals that happen every year when our family flocks back to Navarre Beach for our sandy week-long gathering. The sunset walks in the dunes, the late nights of card playing/drinking/storytelling/puzzlemaking, early morning shell hunting, the assigned meal nights, the competition for outdoor shower time with hot water, and the eventual fight that always breaks out on Thursday after spending too much time together and having the air conditioner freeze up.
And then there is the Florida Book, which is actually comprised of several well-worn volumes of spiral bound notebooks. Aunt Carol, the keeper of the Florida Book, always places them on the coffee table in the main house and over the course of the week funny snippets of conversations are recorded, interesting beach discoveries or adventures or documented, drawings and bad jokes are collected. And every year at some point in the week, entries from the previous years are read aloud and brought back to life with laughter and embellished reminiscing. Family beach stories document generational shifts/additions/losses, hurricanes, Family Olympics (every four years) and weeks ripe with jellyfish and seaweed muck.
There is something so primal about this ritual of ours, this need to document and re-share stories of annual family beach gatherings. I am so glad we do it. And it is actually prompting me to return to this dormant blog of mine. It's been over a year since I posted anything here and I really wasn't sure if I would ever re-vive it, but I have missed it and I realize that it is serves a purpose similar to the Florida book. It documents bits and pieces of our life and stores them for future moments for when we might want to do a bit of time traveling/reminiscing. So here I am again. Hoping to return to this space on a more regular basis. Hoping to put together a meaningful collection of thoughts, memories, images. Hoping to return to the process of sifting and sorting/ writing and photographing.