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Wayne Hinshaw: Morning on the porch at the beach

A perfect morning

Granddaughters Kathryn and Audrey rest on the hammock on the porch reading their books. photo by Wayne HInshaw, for the Salisbury Post

Looking from the porch the green grassy carpet like fairway of the golf course runs up the coast line with the beach in the distance. photo by Wayne HInshaw, for the Salisbury Post

By Wayne Hinshaw for the Salisbury Post

On a recent family beach outing on Kiawah Island, I went onto the porch to read my new Photo District News Magazine.  Sitting there on the massive porch, I was being seduced  into a nap by the warm breeze off the ocean some 200 yards in front of me.

Trying to avoid the nap, I observed the shadows being created on the unpainted boards of the porch floor as the summer sun shined down through the white wooden railings. Looking upward, the blades of the palmetto tree swayed in the breeze under the royal blue morning sky. The palmetto tree supported some sort of parasite growing in its branches.

Flocks of pelicans, that number 10-12 birds,  fly overhead going south with each bird casting a shadow over me in a perfect formation. I can count the number of birds in the flock by the shadows they cast on me in their passing.  The flocks of pelicans fly the beach path route all day from one end of the island to the other then back again.

A few seagulls often  try to join the bigger birds. The white gulls are outlined against the sky with the black tips of their wings like a magic marker outlining their features. Catching the wind currents, it carries the birds forward making it look so smooth and effortless.  Oh, how good it would feel to ride that air current over the  homes along the beach and golf course with my feathered friends.

Sitting here with my feet being supported on a small wooden gray table, unable to concentrate on my reading, I struggle to fight off that nap that my body wants to consume the moment.

Breaking my trance, I hear voices below me on the golf course tee as the golfers make their way up the green grassy carpet of the fairway. I hear the whining of the electric motors of the golf carts and then quiet. Then a loud “pop” of the golfer’s iron shot as he pounds the ball down the course into the ocean breeze. The same breeze that feels so good blowing over me on the porch. The same breeze that carries the pelicans south over me.

Another flock of pelicans pass over me casting yet another shadow over me. I hear the sounds of the waves  of the ocean breaking on the gray sand on the beach in front of me.

My granddaughters, 7 and 8 years old, enter the porch carrying their books. They swing themselves into the netting of the hammock and surprisingly quietly start reading each with their heads on opposite ends of the swing.

Maybe I am dreaming or drifting off into the grasp of sleep that is capturing me on such a perfect morning.

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