On a Beach Walk: No. 37

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Summer is primetime along the Alabama coast followed by spring and fall. Its winters do not provide the regular warmth and sun of central and south Florida – but it is warmer than home in Cincinnati – or the homes of visitors from Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, the Dakotas, Canada, and the rest of Ohio.

Occupancy is comparatively low – but that also means reasonable rates – a month in the winter for about the same as a week during primetime – plus warmer temperatures than home.

People aren’t as plentiful – and the vast majority are retirees migrating to the south as snowbirds. Some younger faces join the mix on weekends.

As we walk, people pass by. Most offer at least a nod or a smile to acknowledge our presence. Some even add a verbal salutation.

People display identifications by hats and shirts may spark conversations – signs identifying homes, places visited, colleges, or sports loyalties. Other Cincinnatians spotting my University of Cincinnati hat identified themselves. As did other Ohioans and others from rival schools.

Many times when passing fisherman monitoring their poles, I would ask about their catches of the day. Most are willing to talk about their craft. I am not a fisherman, but we would watch with anticipation as they reel in their catch.

No matter where we are, each of the people we pass everyday has a story. Each person is walking history of joys and sadness, successes and failures, pride and shame, and more. They include the tall and the short; the old and the young; the successful and the not so; the caring and the selfish; the thinkers, dreamers, doers and so much more.

Today I think about the different people I pass on any given day. People – the plurality of persons. People – the individuals who make up humanity. Yes, it takes every kind of people to make the world go around. Even though people are complex, thinking about them is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

48 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 37

  1. I’m reading a book jointly authored by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu and both speak openly of their regular practice of observing people silently acknowledging that all people have worries, joys, fears, troubles, health concerns…whatever comes to mind as part of the human condition. It is a way of joining humanity in times when we often feel very separate. It seems to me that your beach walks allowed you to get in touch with others on a level we often neglect.

    In the winter we notice the “snow birds” at the beach. We are wearing sweatshirts and maybe a little covering up even in the sunshine. Visitors from the north or midwest are noticeably bare in comparison. They’re drinking up the the beach sun even in winter. 🙂

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  2. Lovely thoughts about people Frank – yes, we all have our situations, we are all doing our best. I walk in the mornings and make a point of catching an eye, smiling, greeting and walking on. I see so many sad and sour looking people, and I’m determined to crack some of them. This very morning one man we see habitually who curls his lip at my happy pup and ignores my smiles was standing outside a store. I saw him and had the thought maybe today I shan’t bother to greet him. As if I had spoken out loud he looked up and said abruptly ‘Good Morning!’ You could have knocked me over with a feather – see, never give up! Next time, we’ll get a smile 🙂

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  3. I like walking on the beach too dear Frank…. but not a crowded beach… only seagulls and maybe a few good and nice friends…. I would like to watch the waves… and the silence of the beach with the sea… also son sunrise and sunset…. and maybe ships in the far distance and watch them, dreaming where they go…. and maybe fishermen… I would like to watch them too… Anyway dear Frank, your post carried me almost sea side…. Thank you, have a nice day and new week, Love, nia

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  4. Not the beach, but my husband has been walking the same walk to work each day for the past 28 years, he finds it sad the number of people who walk with their eyes to the ground, or on their phone. He says hello, good morning to everyone, sadly some just don’t respond. More people need to take the time and smell the flowers, and say good morning.

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  5. Last February I liked thinking about the lives of the folks I passed on the Alabama beach, along with the variety of their greetings. Airports, subways, city streets, libraries, walking trails, and fishing spots are other places I think about what’s going on in the lives of the people I pass. Not so much so on airplanes and passenger trains, or at spectator sports, golf courses, restaurants, movie theaters, and concerts.

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    • Tim,
      On any given day, wow – each of us pass many people in our daily life. Each of them have a story, a history of ups and downs, joys and sadness … actually a bit mind-boggling.

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    • Jo,
      Definitely agree … and I look forward to my beach time in the winter so I can contemplate and write more beach walks. Then again, there is a self-imposed pressure that goes along with that.

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  6. Ahhh … yes, people are peole no matter the details.
    Oddly, I’ve lived in Florida so long (1989) that I take for granted
    the nice behaviors of all who live here. My new step-granddaughter (15) visited with us along with my grandson (8) while our recently married daughter went on the honeymoon cruise we
    gifted them. On one occasion, while at the beach, she looked at me and said, “People are so nice here.” ‘Really??? I thought.’ She said,”Yes, in New York people are always angry.”
    Mmmmm … interesting. From the mouths of babes.
    Thought provoking write, aFrank.
    Isadora 😎

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