Wayne Hinshaw: Even at the coast, summer becomes fall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 28, 2014

ISLE OF PALMS — As people, we don’t understand the changing of our world from summer to fall. Nature seems to know when it is time to move on with the new season and we must follow. We hate to give up the warm summer nights and the gentle summer rain. We want to forget the fierce summer thunderstorms and the dreaded high heat and humidity.
Someone once said, “Time passes so fast until one day you realize that you are there.” That is like the seasons. We long for the next season and miss the past one, but both come upon us and move on so fast.
The seasons are like the sandcastles on the beach. They are here today and washed away by tomorrow. Sand castles are like our dreams and ambitions for today. They can be washed away tomorrow if we aren’t careful.
The sea offers so many sources of thought for the seasonal change. We have the mystery of the small sea shells in many colors and shapes. We wonder about the little creatures who once lived in the shells, and does the change in seasons affect them?
The ocean doesn’t seem to like the passing of summer to fall. The sea fights mother nature over the change. The sea produces dark, angry clouds overhead. She churns up rough water and creates rip currents (rip tides). She foams at the mouth like a mad dog spewing her foam over the beach.
A man can sit on the beach and think about the memories of summer and wonder in amazement about the coming of fall and winter. Sitting on his own reflection on the wet sand, silhouetted against the sea, time has passed him so fast, and now he has arrived there. He wonders where “there” might be.
Another young man, trying to hold onto summer, hangs onto his rubber kayak in the waves. He will lose both battles. Summer will move on and the ocean waves will dump him and wash over him in the sand.
A flock of pelicans fly overhead in perfect formation. At times, one wishes to fly with the birds and learn where they are headed. They are going places and stepping into mysteries that we don’t understand. How do they know to stay in formation?
The aged, unpainted, raw blue-gray, wooden walkways to the ocean are surrounded by hardy wildflowers getting in their final blooms of the summer. The heavy grain patterns on the boards of walkways look like the bold wrinkles on the face of an old man. The boards are weathered, hardened, bowed and curled at the edges, but still very strong and not fragile, still able to carry the weight of people walking past.
The flowers are soft and beautiful, hugging the sand dunes for protection. The Indian Blanket flower with its yellow and orange blooms contrasts with the colors of the walkway. The yellow flowers may be yellow Jessamine, the South Carolina state flower. Maybe not?
The sea fencing meandering along the dunes helps hold the sand in place when the winds blow. The old fence, falling over in places, is surrounded by sea oats that help hold the dunes together if the waves should attack.
As a photographer, surely the old fencing, sea oats, flowers and walkways must have been added for the delight of me making photos.
Quoting someone talking about photography, and I don’t know whom: “It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Photographer Elliott Erwitt said, “Photography is an art of observation. It’s about creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary. You choose a frame and then wait until the right time for something to come along and fit.”
Oh, the mystery of summer becoming fall.
Poet Robert Frost said, “No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”
David Brandon Geeting quoted his former photography teacher Joseph Maida as saying, “If you are not surprised by what you are shooting as you are shooting it, no one else will be. Being able to adapt is so important, leaving room for change …”
So it is with the coming of fall. We will be surprised as to what it brings, but we will adapt to the change and enjoy fall until it comes time to change again from fall to winter.