On a recent drive over to Dunedin we added one such destination to our short list of places we would drive to return to. We ate on the outdoor porch of an old renovated home turned restaurant. The grouper was good, the french fries were great, and the Key Lime Pie... eeehhhh... not so much. We didn't need any pie anyway. The steady breeze blowing off the Gulf waters made for a relaxing and leisurely time.
The small, quaint town of Dunedin is a brief 45 minutes from our house. Driving over St. Joseph Sound on the Dunedin Causeway all the way to the end will take you directly into Honeymoon Island State Park.
An evening to walk along the sandy beach and soak our toes in the Gulf of Mexico was the real reason we headed westward this day.
From the shoreline the city of Clearwater is visible in the distance. Across the water it lights up from the splashes of the sun's rays like tiny protrusions on the southward horizon.
At the beginning of this week there was an ever so slight change in the humidity levels. Did anyone else notice?
If you happened to get outside really early or late in the evenings, it was noticeably more bearable. Just that tiny difference is a good indication that the long transition into fall is sooner than later after a long, hot summer.
Being at the beach for sunset is a favorite activity any day. But this evening was just one of those special times. I know, I say that every time. What can I say? I'm a simple girl.
Honeymoon Island is a unique park. The Gulf beaches are bordered by mangrove swamps and tidal flats that are home to all manner of wildlife.
Soft shades and majestic colors reflect in the east as the sun sets in the west. The vistas change by the moment.
The brilliantly green plantlife that was true to color a short while ago on the sun-drenched beach evolves. In just minutes the richer, deeper colors are more prominent in the moving angle of the sun.
Every leaf, branch, tree trunk, reflection, cloud, stone, sand, and even the birds are swathed with glowing hues of golds, rose, and amber tones. All too magical for any man to dream of duplicating or even try to describe.
Then, as quickly as it seemed to appear that very morning, the ball of fiery orange drops beyond the horizon as the earth continues it revolution just like clock work.
It is difficult to decide which direction to turn. We don't want to miss a single thing. We watch the sky on fire in the west and turn to the east where the sun has taken all the amber tones with it below the waterline. A ceiling of richer blues and clouds reflecting values more intensely pink cause us to pause.
The most peaceful shadows and sounds and smells and breezes in this one place... all together wrapping our souls in the big arms of God assuring us once again of His power and presence in every good thing.
The beach always transports us worlds away from the ordinary. Not that there's anything wrong with the ordinary. But what a blessing that the simplest of natural settings, everyday occurrences and beauty beyond our imaginations can transport our hearts and minds to a completely restful state in the midst of a mixed up world.
We are learning better to breathe in the moments. We are learning better to be thankful every day for all of God's goodness.
Reluctantly, we walk away. Soon... we'll be back.