I grew up on a street about two miles from this beach, so I also grew up going to this beach. My Mom packed peanut butter sandwiches, carrot sticks and Lorna Doones in baggies and led the way to our spot to the right of the snack bar (and almost everyone else). She drank Tab and read books underneath her hat and sunglasses. Her toes curled in the sand and solitude. My brother and I let her be, amusing ourselves in the water and on our towels, even through the dismay of biting into sand in our peanut butter and white bread sandwiches. Somehow it always felt like that was Mom’s fault, but we never said anything. We’d trade looks with each other – the I-just-crunched-sand-in-my-sandwich look – and we’d move on to the carrots and cookies.

I still walk the beach, mostly in the non-sand-in-your-sandwich seasons. Its shapes, looks and moods don’t get old. Sometimes it feels wild and pre-historic, sometimes it feels timeless, and fortunately (for me and my memories) it never feels modern. I can walk back in time in the fog or the sunshine and continue growing up on the beach.

For information about Crescent Beach and Kettle Cove State Parks in Cape Elizabeth, visit the link to the State of Maine website.