Reclaim your joy

Umbrella

Mass shootings, hurricanes, national anthem protests, divisive national politics, further attacks on home rule rights by the state Legislature, noisy neighbors, traffic jams, local political discord and more…

It’s enough to steal – or at least borrow without interest – one’s inner and outer joy. But at times like this, we must also remember all that’s right here on Anna Maria Island.

We cannot fully escape the horrors, challenges and minor inconveniences of modern-day life, but we can take a reprieve and soak in the best escapes this Island life still offers.

Spend some quiet time at one of the beautiful beaches that stretch from end to end. Take a seat in the sand, dip a toe in the surf, ponder nature’s beauty and humankind’s limited importance in the grand scheme of things.

Hop on the free trolley and ride from tip to tip taking in sights not fully appreciated when stuck behind the wheel of a car. And hop off from time to time to enjoy a snack, an ice cream cone, a soft drink, a smoothie or a glass of wine.

Go shopping and marvel at the multitude of retail offerings.

Go boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, paddle boarding or parasailing, if that’s your thing.

Go walking, bicycling or take a long leisurely stroll with your dog or visit the dog park if that’s more your speed.

Call a friend, family member or neighbor you haven’t spent enough time with lately and get a good dose of quality time. Find a quiet place and catch up on the lost art of conversation while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

Go to a restaurant and feed your body, soul and spirit with a favorite dish.

Find a noisy place and get lost in live music, laughter and libations for a little while.

Take in a play by the Island Players, admire the art on display in the local galleries or sit and read a book in some serene and scenic spot.

Do whatever it takes to rekindle that sense of Island magic, and forget for a while things more troubling and tragic.