The beach takes top honors for inspiration

Writer ponders why ideas arrive with ease in that particular setting

“I have to write an article, so I have to get to the beach,” I told a friend as I raced out the door with all my gear and then climbed into the car.

Today I have driven over to Siesta Beach. I wanted to arrive there before 8:30 a.m., before the visitor onslaught begins, and therefore be able to race out later on.

“Hi, Scott!” I call out. He is the chief lifeguard. He absolutely loves his job of 20+ years, he has told me. He is here early to check in with his staff and to plan their day.

Why do I feel more confident and relaxed — experiencing much less stress — when I am writing from the beach? Is it because the beautiful azure water, with the continuous rhythm of its waves ebbing and flowing, calms me down? Is it because of the sound of the waves gently splashing and crashing at the shore? Do the morning clouds, all puffy and white, kissed by the sun and perfectly shaped to make a memorable photograph, soothe my senses?

Maybe the reason is the series of muted conversations as the visitors arrive, or perhaps the clack-clack of the birds enjoying their morning flight as they survey their resting area.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” someone asks. “Do you come here often?”

“Why yes, I do.”

“How far does the tide come up? Will my kids be safe?”

“Not a problem,” I said. “Our tides are slow and easy, just like our beachgoers.”

Is the reason the para-glider, flying past my “front-row seat,” looking as if it is floating right inside the clouds?

I know it is not really early at the beach, but it is early enough to sit comfortably and absorb the many sights and sounds that seem to disappear later in the day when the crowds take over.

And, there is music too. Is Jimmy Buffet nearby? I can hear every word of the lyrics.