I return to Long Beach Island. This is my first trip to the island since Sandy devastated her shores.
I am excited to see old friends both aquatic and on the land.
Readings From The Northside, (http://exit63.wordpress.com), as always, is showing our feathered, shelled and swimming friends are back and frolicking in full swing.
The LBI is Alive Campaign has been fantastic and I know I will be enjoying delicious delights and buying my usual fare at many a familiar place.
However, I would be lying, if I did not acknowledge a slight tinge of anxiousness.
Maybe anxiousness is too strong a word. Let’s just say there is an air of slight unease as I pack and prepare tonight.
It has been my intent since Sandy hit, to document my experience of returning to the island. As some of you know, LBI is the one constant in my life since I was eight years of age. What will be missing, or altered that I am not aware of? I know the famous Shack succumbed to the devastation last Halloween. But I am less concerned even with missing landmarks. I am concerned about seeing the people altered. I have been reading The Sandpaper, the local Island news through the months, watching the stupendous rebuilding effort. Yet, there has been a subtle undercurrent of struggle amidst the herculean rebuild. The force of Sandy is very different, but I felt this same uneasiness after 9/11 when a house guest wanted to go and see ground zero. I don’t want to document my Island experience because of sight seeing curiousity. I want to support those who build and lovingly nurture this resilient and hearty community. I don’t want to ogle the devastation that still stands, but I know I must see what has happened and capture my feelings and those of anyone near who will kindly share. I am painfully aware I am not a native. My intent is not to exploit…yet I fear, inadvertently, that is what I will do.
We shall see what this week will bring.