Another homework piece, written after a warm, early-summer evening in Adelaide. From memory, this verbal photograph was taken at Grange in the early 2000s.
The evening is calm, still, ethereal. People, relishing the first hint of summer, crowd their cars into the carpark, fighting for the best parks, desperate to unload and unwind. We patiently snake the car around until we find a vacant spot: close and convenient. We unload the boot with all our beachly possessions and the kids skip ahead down the concrete ramp.
Shoes are the first things to come off, followed closely by t-shirts, shorts and dresses, dropped in crumpled piles in the sand. Then a sprint to the water, forgetting tea. Toes in first, a splash, then a brave dive. Walking out past the shallowness until heads bob in time with the waves. We perch on rocks, some distance away, just watching.
The water is still as a drawn bath; gentle ripples lick the sand. Clouds, gull-grey streaks, framed by puffs of white, are mirrored in the sea. And as the sun is slowly swallowed by the horizon, apricot waves frame the silver silhouettes of the gulls, circling, eagle-like over the sand.
Gradually, silvery darkness replaces the fading light, and the kids, shivering and salty, wrap themselves in sandy towels, a buffer against the cold. We all sit, watching the disappearing sky-line, feeling the whisper of a breeze on our faces. Colder now, we pack our things, promise gelati, and leave, hoping that summer visits again soon.