Sagg Main: From Generation to Generation
There I stood, in the King Kullen Parking lot, a woman on the brink of 40; with the caress of the cool and gentle morning breeze, mingled with the salty kiss of the nearby sea, I was suddenly flooded with sun-drenched childhood memories and transported back to a time of ice cream trucks and body surfing. My husband and children were sleeping soundly in my childhood home allowing me a few moments to travel back in time.
I remembered golden mornings at Sagg Main beach when the seashore was nearly empty and the cool breeze gently ruffled our freshly planted umbrellas; it would send a chill down our backs as we smiled with breezy early morning excitement. I remembered sweet naps during which I was constantly awoken and then lulled back to sleep anew by the sound of strangers’ conversations mingled together with the crashing of the waves. Each trip into the water held the promise of a great ride on a wave; also present was the frightening but somewhat exciting threat of “getting rolled” by the waves if you didn’t do it just right. With each wave, we had been well trained to choose, “Do I go over this wave or do I dive under?” I grew up checking the flags each day. I would measure the degree of my freedom for the day by the flag’s color. White flag; I was set! Blue flag; that meant that we needed dad. Red flag; that meant off- limits. Red flag days were often met with frustrated grunts and frowns while white flag days meant hours of swimming and getting rolled; it wasn’t uncommon to come home with a number of cuts and scrapes. This, along with red peeling noses, was a sign of having had a fun day at the beach.
My family lives far away from this beach but we come here every summer to visit. My girls, Yael and Naama, absolutely adore kite flying and insist upon bringing their kites to the beach each time we go. Trips to the ice cream truck are equally exciting for mom and kids and grandpa loves to treat. My children are still young, so short trips into the water are the excitement for now.
As I carefully guard my children’s safety when they’re in the water, I hear the wise words of my beach-adoring father, echoing back to me through the years; years ago, as we would run out through the waves, after the initial dive, and during the ensuing jumps over new waves, he would calmly tell me, “Rebecca, respect the ocean; the current is stronger than you are. If you ever get caught, don’t try to fight it. Swim with the current and raise your hand for the lifeguards to help you.” Most certainly, these words came from his beach-wise father and I look forward to the days when I will be able to impart their wisdom to my own girls.
My husband and I married on this very beach in 2007. We made our vows and started our new life together while standing on the same sand that would stick to my wet feet when I was a child. As sure as I would bring some of that sand home with me at the end of each beach day, I have taken grains of wisdom with me over the years that were born here, at this beach. The salty moisture of the beach is in my bones and is a part of my blood. No matter where I have visited or lived in the world, I have felt most at home when near a seashore. It has occurred to me that I could not feel any more at home than I do at Sagg Main beach. The first minute that I step off of the stairs, sink my feet into the sand and stare out at the majestic waves that seem to have waited for me these past 30 years, I feel welcomed home again.