My friend, Karen and I go to the beach most Shabbat mornings. It’s our tradition; something which she and I have done religiously for the last few years, weather permitting.
We usually start the morning with a heated debate about sunscreen. I’m an avid fan, 50+ for me all the way, while she’s not so keen. A mere smattering of factor 15 is the most she’ll stretch to.
Karen isn’t so gung-ho about where we sit, however. An uninterrupted view of the sea is essential, with enough room to swing a dead cat on either side. Once the perfect spot has been identified, we stake our claim by laying out our sheet and plonking ourselves down.
Last Shabbat was no different. We arrived early, at around 8.30 and marvelled at how quiet and peaceful it was. We found the perfect spot, set out our sheet and plonked ourselves down, ready for a relaxing couple of hours sunbathing, chatting and gazing at the sea.
Within minutes, a young Israeli family arrived and plonked themselves directly in front of us, blocking out our view of the sea entirely. Karen politely pointed out that the beach was almost empty and would they mind moving up slightly. It fell on deaf ears and before long a small village had been erected right in front of us.
Karen, who by this time was really not happy, insisted that we move. As I said, a view of the sea is very important to her…me, I wasn’t so bothered. I was so hot and sandy by this time, that the thought of having to move even a finger was too much to bear! Karen won (she can be very persuasive) and we dragged our stuff along, being careful not to leave anything behind. We soon settled into our new perfect spot and once again enjoyed our uninterrupted view of the sea, our little slice of heaven.
I then experienced what can only be described as one of those rare moments of unadulterated joy which occur maybe a handful of times in one’s life (if you’re lucky). As I turned my head to take in the majesty of the sea, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, the tide racing up the beach towards the young family’s small village.
It all happened so quickly…there was nothing they could do to stop it. I smiled sweetly when I caught the Dad’s eye as he tried in vain to gather up all their stuff and save it from a good old soaking.
As the old saying goes, Karma’s a bitch!