Randi Kreiss

A remedy for T.B. (Trump Burnout): the beach


I was thinking of redacting my column in the spirit of the moment. I spent all morning waiting for the redacted version of the warrant authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago to drop, and so it has, and so what? 
This endless cycle of “breaking news” doesn’t actually advance our knowledge of how and when Donald Trump might be held accountable for any alleged crimes. Will he ever pay for his egregious misbehavior and the immorality that has stained our standing in the world? He is not going away. And neither are his people. I can tell by the dread in my heart.  
We must find our own peace of mind and cultivate our own sources of comfort as we support our democracy. As Labor Day approaches, we need to grab what’s left of summer and head to the beach. This is what we can do for ourselves as human beings living in challenging times
Long Islanders are truly blessed with a natural remedy for stress, since most of us are within driving distance of open water.   Battered by the sights and sounds of real life, we go to the ocean to recharge our batteries. 
I flee, escaping television, the internet, the book banning, the war raging in Ukraine, the suffocating heat across the land, and of course the hair ball of Trumpism that is entangling some very bright and should-have-known-better officials in a nest of lies and conspiracy.  Most thinking Americans are concerned about our security and standing in the world. We are worried all over again about women’s reproductive rights, racism, gun control and nothing less than the stability of our democracy. 

We have become addicted to “breaking news” that intrudes on our phones or beams out from televisions. We don’t want to hear it and we can’t stay away. 
The Mar-a-Lago search warrant is one of hundreds of hyped-up turns of events in the unfolding story of the Trump years. The man has taken up residence in people’s minds, pushing out benign stuff like recipes and happy vacations and memories of leaders we have respected and even loved. 
A reliable antidote to Trump is escape into nature.  
School days are approaching; if it’s Thursday, it must be soccer practice or extra help classes, or ballet or orthodontist or religious school or play dates or flu shots or — hopefully — therapy appointments. It’s all about lists and checking off items and jumping into the car or onto the computer or back to the market for something you forgot. 
Our homes need to be ready for cold weather ahead. Folks are thinking about cutting back the garden and checking the oil burner.
We can do what we have to do, and still walk the beach for a reboot.   
All over again I wonder at the deep, glorious expanse of white sand stretching down to the surf. This week the sun was brilliant in a blue sky studded with darling puffs of white. Oil tankers rode the horizon. The waves were lively, crashing around the rock jetties.  I walked along the beach and took notice of everything I could hear: my rubber soles scuffing on the sand, the cawing of the seabirds roosting around me, a jet leaving a ghost trail overhead.  
A few people, widely scattered, were enjoying the day.  One lone fisherman stood out on the rocks. The scene was solitary; the heartbeat slowed, the mind quieted and I felt like my better self as I set new footprints into the sand.  
At the tip of one jetty, someone had placed a large American flag, which was tattered by the wind. If I knew how to write music, I would have composed an anthem from that image. 
It was a perfect experience. Isn’t this the most we can hope for — to leave our worries behind, or at least set them aside for a while, and immerse ourselves in a setting of peace and beauty? It is the timelessness of the beach, the endless rhythms of the tides that remind us how beautiful and big this earth is and how relatively small our concerns are.
Man, how lucky to live near the beaches that curl around Long Island like strands of pearls. And this is the best season to get out there. If you are reading this on Long Island, there is a beach somewhere not too far away. 
Suffering from T.B.? Head to the shore. Assemble ingredients. Mix well. Enjoy.

Copyright 2022 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.