This was the third jog on my beach vacation and the same out-and-back route: two miles on the flat, crowded Cherry Grove beach to the pier and back again. About a hundred early-bird tourists, most walking and collecting shells, avoided eye contact as I passed. At my back, the rising sun rose bright white, casting the ocean blazing silver. But up ahead, heavy clouds streaked rain lines to the sand.
I jogged forward, against the wind, quickening my rendezvous with the storm front. Even before I reached the pier, the cold rain pelted down, soaking my shirt, dripping off my ball cap. Beachcombers retreated like roaches scampering… most of them. The few that remained were, like me, jogging, stubborn enough not to let the rain alter our plans. We’d glance at each other, smiling wildly, sharing something almost intimate in the seconds as we passed.