On a Beach Walk: No. 47 (Senses)

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

Ever think about your senses? Yes – the senses – that collective that we associated with sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste, and balance.

The senses – the cooperative making us aware of our external and internal environments.

The senses – the cumulative sensory devices gathering information that is sent to our brain, which integrates the message into our personal reality that we shape into our individualized personal perspective.

The senses – something all living things have – maybe not all to the same degree of sensitivity – but they have senses. After all, detecting and reacting to environmental conditions is important to all life forms. Maybe not all the same senses as us, but they have senses with the same purposes as ours – to make the organism aware of their surroundings.

The sensory devices may be as simple as to detect light – that is, to either seek it or avoid it. Others see well enough to detect movement – but even our vision isn’t that of an eagle, hawk or falcon.

Some sensory mechanisms seek a desired pH. Others trigger movement. Some detects temperatures to guide the organism toward the preferred temperature.

I look at the shells on the sand thinking that they once housed a living thing that had senses. Not as the specialized organs that may be in our minds, but as specialized nerve endings sensitive to touch so a reflex action can quickly occur.

I pass a jellyfish washed ashore and its their sensory ability that reacts with a sting. Since it may still be alive, I watch my step.

I see a pelican diving because their sensory eyes spotted a prey below the water’s surface – a fish who can also see with eyes and detect other senses with its lateral line on the side of its body – a structure that our eyes can see – but they still may fall prey to the pelican – but maybe not.

The senses – those detection system that constantly bombard our brain with information – many of which are unconscious to us – so we are oblivious to their usefulness. Many others we choose to ignore – yet some get logged as future memory recall. Some create a moment in time that sticks with us. Maybe a learning situation because I wonder – is there any learning that doesn’t start with a sense?

I think of the technologies that assist our senses. The corrective lenses that I wear for better eyesight; a hearing aid to detect and amplify lost sounds. Oh the wonders of how Braille transforms touch into visual words so the visually impaired can read.

I think of the blind who can’t see the graph, but can interpret the data through technology transforming the data into audible sound.

I think of technologies that extend our senses. From the simple stethoscope to a sonogram and beyond.

The bottom line is simple – our senses are vital for survival of all living things – yet to we humans, senses are also personal.

As I walk, my senses are simultaneously at work, and thinking about this wonderful collective that we may take for granted are good thoughts for this day. After all, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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33 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 47 (Senses)

  1. The senses are the common denominator alright.

    I was watching the Yankees game this afternoon and they caught this amazing shot of a peregrine falcon perched on top of one of the stadium’s flagpoles. This wondrous creature was just sitting there, as if it were a recliner, watching and waiting. Thanks to a visual field that could give Canon a run for its money, this wasn’t a joyride but genuine purpose.

    Your post brings it full circle.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marc,
      Your description of the peregrine falcon is perfect for this post. Glad I was able to rekindle that memory.

      Speaking of baseball, with the goofy reminder of Bud Selig influenced scheduling, over the next 6 weeks, the Reds play the bulk of their series against Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers. … Make or break time!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You point out the importance of giving our senses the credit they deserve. To put that into action I need to go outside my house more, where my senses are less likely to be dampened by written words and electronic enhancement. Beach walking certainly would be near the top of my list, golf near the bottom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I wonder how much people actually use their senses beyond the basic sense of awareness. Glancing at something allows one to miss a lot. Or as I like to say, take the time to look closer – to see and notice the marvels.

      Like

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