Many people here on the Cape and Islands have a cult-like devotion to their outdoor showers. After a day at the beach, there is nothing like showering under a blue sky with the birds wheeling overhead for feeling one with nature.

Any kind of shower is good, whether it’s a garden hose on a stand or an architect-designed teak palace. But it’s best if the shower has some kind of enclosure so you can peel off your bathing suit without scandalizing the neighbors. Add warm water and soap from a big seashell standing in as a soap dish, and the simple act of rinsing off salt, sand, and seaweed feels like a luxury spa experience.

Standing naked in the open air, you feel as fresh and innocent as a child. Rinse out your suit and toss it on the top of the shower door to be dried later on a clothesline. Then wrap in a big towel and step out into the world. It’s the cleanest feeling you will ever have, and one of the best.