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Green Acre #335: Weekend With a Side of Surf

Surf, sand and a lack of gardening angst along Juno Beach in south Florida. / Photo by Stephanie Cavanaugh.

By Stephanie Cavanaugh

THE OCEAN is limpid. Aquamarine with diaphanous waves ruffling white where they meet the shore, like a glorious Galanos gown. Parasails soar, sherbet-colored sails against the blue sky. The sun is hot, the water cool, just as it’s been for days and days in south Florida. 

Every afternoon around 4, a slender woman walks the sand. Her top half is shrouded in white, like an egret in a long-sleeved shirt—a rash guard they call it, unattractively. All long thin tanned legs, a tight cowl snooding her hair, topping a brimmed hat with a neck flap, like something Lawrence of Arabia might wear on his camel—or a groundskeeper buzzing hedges at a ritzy resort.

She sports a pole with a small strainer attached to the end. Eyes to the sand and the shallows, she dips at something, looks and dips again, wandering on. 

“Go see what she’s looking for,” I poke The Prince. I’m big on snappy comments, less interested in conversation. 

He goes. Returns. Reports.

“Why do you think I’m looking for something?” she said. “It’s a spiritual exercise—the ocean has much to give. Everything is special.”

That said, she has found jewels, and sea glass, though not a doubloon—yet. “Many ships have sunk here; there are treasures to be found. 

But that’s not why she walks. 

“A spiritual exercise,” The Prince reminds her. “Is that why you wear what you wear?” The get-up does have a kinky nun feel to it.

“No, the dermatologist told me to cover up.”  

He could tell she had nothing on but a thong beneath the white shirt. Her breasts bobble freely. My Prince, so observant.

She walked on. 

Despite its being Memorial Day weekend, the beachgoers are few. A woman sunbathes a few hundred yards to my left. A crowd—meaning a few dozen lobster-colored bathers—are clustered at the beach club a quarter-mile south. In Juno Beach, this is a mob scene. I have often been here when there’s no one to be seen at all. 

My sister Jeanie lives here. My younger sister Bonnie lives not far away. Jeanie had a bit of an medical emergency, and we are here on a mission of care with a side of surf. 

There’s not much to say about gardening in Florida. Some plants, like pansies and tulips, don’t do well. Everything else grows boringly lush, prolific with flowers. Stick a plant in the ground and it grows carefree. Like exotic, beautifully colored and scented weeds. 

And that is all I have to say about gardening this week.  



2 thoughts on “Green Acre #335: Weekend With a Side of Surf

  1. Maggie Hall says:

    That’ll teach me to read a piece properly! Ignored the end of the quotation marks and thought that’s what The Prince said to her. Which I did think was somewhat brave (and brazen) of him…..

  2. Maggie Hall says:

    The Kinky Nun….what a wonderful image! I hope she relates that to the dermatologist.

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