I shake out shorts and bathing suit cover-ups, leaving a fine layer of sand in front of the washing machine. The dog sniffs the dirty clothes bag. She does not recognize the smell of the sea.
Sand followed us home, clinging to the mesh in the pockets of my husband's swim trunks, wedged in the soles of my flip flops, caked inside broken fragments of pearly shells tossed into the beach bag, swirled in a thin, muddy paste in the bottom of the cooler.
I don't mind the sand; but I wish, along with it, I could have carried home the calming shush of waves, scalloping against the shore. I wish I could unpack the warmth of the Florida sun and drape it, like a shawl, around my shoulders. I wish we were closer than a long-day's drive...close enough to make temporary footprints on our morning walks and catch glimpses of dolphins, dancing just past the sandbar.
I miss the beach.