Once upon a time, so many years ago, my lifelong friend invited us to Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport….when our littles were two – Ben + Kealoha.
I had never been to Goose Rocks. There are few parking spots along the narrow roads for the public; you must have a permit from the Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce to use them.
But my visit was even more special because, as a guest of my friend’s relatives, we came to their charming home at the far end of the beach, where tidal pools form when the tide goes out…and there are almost no people there.
To be at a beach in Maine, at the height of summer, pretty much alone, is a very rare opportunity indeed. And I can tell you, it’s magic.
The sand at Goose Rocks is talcum white. Soft.
The path that brings you to this end of the beach is flanked with long grasses blowing in the sea breeze. A weathered post-and-rail fence lines the path on one side. Against the fence, bright pink beach roses grow and their fragrance tells you instantly you’ve reached the shore.
The tide goes out about a mile. The sand left in its wake is rippled deeply from the waves. The ripples feel like a massage on my bare feet.
You can’t help but pause when you reach the beach to breathe deeply, breathe all this natural beauty in. The sun shimmers on the water on a bright summer day without a cloud in the sky.
All told, it’s about three miles of wide, sandy beach. There is a barrier reef offshore known as Goose Rocks which you can see when the tide is out. This reef protects the beach and contributes to its having such soft, white sand. The shore is lined with exquisite cottages, new and old.
I want to return to visit The Tides Beach Club which is a renovated inn with classic architecture and a front porch overlooking the beach. It’s been updated with an airy, chic, beach feel and they offer cocktails, dining, or overnight stay packages. Bright yellow chaise lounge chairs line the beach for their guests in front of their inn.
At our end of the beach, we put our beach chairs in the tidal pools and sit with our legs and feet in the warm water. Sometimes, we lay our whole bodies right in the tidal pools, on our bellies, our legs bent upward at the knees.
Our littles, back then, played in the pools safely all day long wearing bloated diapers, T-shirts, and floppy hats. They played with miniature plastic pails and shovels, small cars and tractors.
Now, when my BFFs go once each summer, wearing 30 sunscreen, big sunglasses, and straw hats, we remember the days with the littles.
How we loved those days.
But at middle age, we are loving these days at the beach together, too.
We reluctantly head home to make dinner (or not)….after wading, taking a long walk, snapping photos with a zoom lens, chatting about anything and everything, and laughing.
Our littles are now twenty-two.
I wonder if they remember the tidal pools, the beach that went on forever, playing with their pails…