Daytona Beach, FL


My alarm goes off at 6:45am. Shifting through the dregs of sleep, I snatch my phone and swipe the bottom to shut off the sound.


I lay in bed for a few minutes, my mind empty and fresh for the day. Behind me, I can hear the boy snoring, undisturbed by the alarm. He is always a pretty hard sleeper anyway.

I roll over and look towards the window. There is a chink in the heavy drapes and through it, I can see the sky is lightening. It’s almost time and I know that this is not an opportunity I want to miss.

Carefully, I shift out of the bed and grab some clothing. Card key in hand, I leave the room and head downstairs to the small cafe that opened at 6. Tea for me. Cream and sugar. Coffee for the boy. Cream. I head back to the room. It’s 7:00. I have only a few precious moments.

Upon opening the door, my eyes jump right to the bed. He’s awake. I smile. Capable of sleeping through alarms, thunderstorms, televisions, but the moment I try to sneak out anywhere, he’s awake. I hand him his coffee and encourage him to move his butt out of bed so we don’t miss it. He does and we peel back the curtains to reveal our balcony. Small, with two chairs and a little table. Perfect.

We slide open the door. Warm, balmy air coats us, a drastic contrast to the harsh and dry winter that plagues our home in New England. Nothing stands between us and a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Atlantic. The beach is calm and devoid of people, the tide far back, but the lullaby of the ocean is still sweet.

We sit, he first, then me on his knees. Coffee and tea in hand. The gray sky breaks open over the ocean. 7:07am. Sunrise.

She rises steadily, golden fingers reaching and leaping out of the ocean, painting the water with sparkles of sun rays and dappling the sky with pinks and golds and bright blues. We observe her like silent emissaries, taking in the full spectrum of her glory.

She’s finished. The sky is bright and welcoming, the ocean a mirror to the canvas of blues and pinks and reds of the sky. The boy steps back inside for a moment. I pull out my phone. I snap a photo of the sun and all her splendor. Then I angle my body so that she and I can share in a selfie.

Good Morning, Daytona Beach.


One thought on “Daytona Beach, FL

  1. Very nicely written, Jessica, pulling me into each scene. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work. We must make time soon to get together to share writings. Keep doing what you love! Love you! Auntie


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