The weather has been superb and, with a lot of older folks strolling our golden shores, it’s been wonderful beachcombing of late. I’ve found myself unable to get the refrain, “Good, good, good, good vibrations,” out of my head. Then again, why would I want to keep The Beach Boys’ classic 1966 hit from replaying in my mind?
Since its formation in 1961, the group’s upbeat surf music has been synonomous with joyous summers. The calendar tells us that today is the last day of summer, but the season is endless to me. The brilliant sun and the genius of Brian Wilson, his brothers and kin help keep it that way.
Yesterday, I chatted with so many nice, nice people while trampling the moist shell beds. Met a retired couple from Jonesborough, Tennessee, and suddenly my relentless pursuit of fossils didn’t seem all that important. We talked about the schools of fish heading south. We talked about the beautiful state of Tennessee and the gentleman told me about caves in the northeast part of the state. That topic evolved into coal mining and how brave those folks are who spend much of their lives extracting coal from the ground.
“I’m pickin’ up good vibrations. She’s giving me excitations.”
Sure, Good Vibrations is a love song, but the tune brings out the “spring” in all of us. “Oom bop bop.”
We were joined by another fine gentleman from North Carolina, whose family owns a couple of homes here on the north end of town. He’s a Vietnam veteran, gracing the shores with some of his relatives. We stood in a small circle and the vet told us about his tour in Southeast Asia. I told him that I detest the way Vietnam vets were treated upon their return home. He said that he still hasn’t visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, and who can blame him. He’s not bitter, just scarred by his experiences. God is helping him with that. He said he wanted to go to D.C. before his passing, but he wanted to do it on his own terms. Then we talked politics and one of my new friends mentioned that our politicians should enlist in the military, go overseas, and stay there until everything is resolved. Sounds like a good idea to me.
I next encountered a cute young couple. Good looking, probably in their late teens. The kind of kids you see and you think, “Man, I hope they make it. They look so good together. Like it was meant to be.” Hope they don’t let human fallibility mess things up. They asked me about hunting sharks teeth, and I wished them a good vacation.
“I hear the sound of a gentle word. On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air.”
I waded into the ocean and stood in waist-deep water after parting ways with the couple. With the sun still shining from the east, you could see ten to 12-inch fish swimming at the top of wave crests. The waves were opaque and looked like greenish painted glass. I thought the fish had to be blues, but a fisherman, who wasn’t having much luck, told me later that they were most likely mullet. Shortly thereafter I saw a small fin knifing through the surf 20 feet from shore. A small shark. An Osprey swooped down and grabbed a mullet in its talons. After shaking its wings, the seahawk headed back to its nest. Then I met a former neighbor of mine who had seen the Osprey touch down just 100 feet from me. We chatted a bit about the beauty of nature.
“Gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations flowin’.”
I’m sending out good vibes to y’all. Ya feelin’ it? Hope you can’t get the song out of your head today. Laughing out loud at the prospect.