By Veronica Townsend
Distinguished Young Woman of Delaware for 2011
The sweet, melodic sound of the crashing waves drifts me into a light sleep whilst my body succumbs to the bright summer sun. Seagulls cry somewhere nearby, as harmonious country music tunes drift throughout the air. The grittiness of the sand, the warm sun beating down, the light ocean breeze, bronzed skin and sea water tangled hair – this is the life I know. A born and raised beach bum, I’ve been fortunately bred right within distance from the ocean. Summers to me are eternally reminiscent of long days by the water, catching some rays with my family and friends, and cooling off with some memorable summer nights.
There’s a saying that goes, “You can shake the sand from your feet, but you can’t shake it from your soul.” Throughout my time in college, my heart ached for my home at the beach. While many can say that they vacation here during the summers, or come to visit on the weekends, living by the ocean year round is something that has greatly impacted my life. Some get to experience the pleasure of knowing the fulfilling sensation of their first beach sun tan, the lasting scent of sunscreen, summer barbeques and seafood, and suddenly – it’s gone, and they are back to their real homes. Perhaps it was being away at school for an entire year and not having the beach at my fingertips, but it seems that each year I grow more and more appreciative for my beach life. It’s more than just a location to me; it’s a way of life. It’s all about that sand that you can’t seem to ever rid from your car seats, those talks in the lifeguard stands after dusk, the blanket you always keep in your trunk that has seen both winter and summer days in the sand, and so much more. It’s a true beauty that lives within your soul, which exists deep in your heart and will stay there with each beat, just like the waves crashing on the shore.
Don’t you just have that one place you always can run to? Somewhere you have grown up, is filled with memories and the hope of more to be made, and seems to be such a part of you that you won’t ever be able to shake it away? Don’t lose that. Reflect upon a place that has meaning like this to you. We live in a beautiful world filled with fantastic creations that are meant to be cherished and revered, and as we grow up, we don’t have to leave them behind. Just like I hope to hold onto my perpetual beach bum mentality, grasp that place that has been with you since your childhood, or perhaps is a place you have just been introduced to. Appreciate it, the people there, the laughs, the memories, and you will find a deep gratitude for something more than just a place, but a way of life. Each one of us is unique and possesses a life filled with past experiences that have made us who we are. Embrace your roots because they will stick with you for life. Stop and really appreciate the beauty in something that has always been with you and don’t ever take it for granted. Time goes by fast and we grow up quicker than we would have ever thought to be possible. Life is a beautiful thing and if we all were to take the time to appreciate it, perhaps we would be happier people.
Veronica Townsend is a college freshman at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware majoring in Fashion Merchandising. Originally from Dagsboro, Delaware, Veronica was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Delaware for 2011. Learn more about Veronica here!