Padre Island

Padre Island, Texas, www.marianamcdougall.com

My S/I joint is sore, there’s sand between my toes and under my toenails, the arches of my feet ache…. and I’m happy.

Padre Island, Texas, www.marianamcdougall.com, picture of sunrise

 

So, so incredibly happy. Because I have the ocean at my feet, and the sounds of the waves cleanse my soul. To me, there’s no purer happiness in nature than that which the sea can provide—even if the sea is actually a gulf.  

My grandmother says the water of the sea cures any ill. Whether or not that’s true, vast amounts of salt water against white sands and under clear blue skies does bring me peace. Not only because of the beautiful sounds of crashing waves and the salty smell in the air, but because of this:

 

Sunrise at Padre Balli Park

 

I’d say it’s worth waking up early to see this, but by 7:20 a.m., most people in our family have been up for at least an hour (me for much longer). So the whole family gets to witness the beauty of the sun coming up, creating beautiful pinks and purples in the sky, and offering unparalleled beauty.

 

A boy and a girl carrying sand buckers and shovels and watching the sunrise at Padre Balli Park, Padre Island

 

Three American flags against a pink sky at sunrise on Padre Balli Park

 

Two girls playing in the sand at sunrise on Padre Balli Park, Padre Island

 

We’ve stayed on Padre Island longer than we’d planned, and we don’t regret it a bit, even when the weather turns cloudier the day after this amazing sunrise. Because on a cloudy day, the sun gives us the picture of an angel bursting through the clouds. 

 

Sunrise at Padre Island

 

And here, on a beach miles away from “home,” I am home. I am at peace. And my smile comes from deep within me—I am truly, unmistakably happy.

 

Mariana at beach on Padre Island

 

We’ve enjoyed our stay on Padre Balli Park beaches, especially waking up to the sight of the water and the sounds of the waves.

 

RV at Padre Balli Park, Padre Island

 

After a couple of nights in Padre Balli Park, we head over to the National Seashore. Padre Island National Seashore has a lot to offer visitors, even while the federal government is shut down and there are no services provided. A handful of people have come to the seashore to enjoy the beautiful views, observe and photograph the birds, and build an impressive sand castle.

 

Seagull flying at sunrise, Padre Island National Seashore

One day, I’ll return here and get to know the other side—South Padre Island, where I’ll be sure to check out the turtle rehabilitation center and spend even more time looking up at the starts at night, and looking at the amazing colour of the sky in the mornings.

 

 

Seagull in the reflection of the sunrise, in front of the water on Padre Island National Seashore

 

For now, we get ready to head West.

 

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