On a Beach Walk: No. 48 (Touch)

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

I feel the firm sand with each step. My feet enable me to distinguish degrees of wetness – yet, I cannot feel individual grains of sand – but I do love the water’s smooth caress. Ahhhhh … the sense of touch.

As I walk I can tell when I step on a fine gritty layer of fine shells – or when I step on a single shell. My eyes tell me to slow down and be careful as I cross a dense area of shells – or even advise me to detour. Yet, I am impressed how the touch on the bottom of my feet causes me to retract my step when encountering a shell’s sharp edge. Cheers to the sense of touch.

I think about the sense of touch on my feet when they are not on this beach – but in a sock that’s in a shoe. I not only feel the sock on these feet, but I can also distinguish the inside of my shoe. Better yet, I can also feel the floor upon where I stand, and the bottom of each shoe between the floor and my feet. I can distinguishing levels of hardness of the floor from plush carpet to wood to tile or concrete. Yes – the marvels of the sense of touch.

I think about the sensitivity of our fingertips and how much we rely on them. While touch sensing ability of the skin on our back is much less sensitive than our fingers, but our lips are even more sensitive as noted in a soft, sensuous kiss. Ahhh – the sense of touch.

The sense of touch allows us to distinguish an apple from a pear when biting into them by differentiating the texture of their flesh. It’s the sense of touch that allows the blind to read through the Braille system.

Touch is related to our mood and the situation. Think about the differences of touch in a loving couple while amorous and the “don’t touch me” feeling during an argument.

Touch differs between cultures – let alone among people. Some show touch as an acceptance or appreciation, but others react to touch as an infringement of their space. Those that are tactile oriented must learn to change because others are not.

Touch, that complex feedback system linking behaviors and emotions. Touch, that therapeutic message that is a sign of assurance, friendliness, encouragement, and comfort. Touch, the sense we associate with erogenous.

Of all the senses, I imagine touch is the least researched, yet, psychologists approach different aspects of touch, but not its absence or loss.

We can close our eyes to simulate blindness, plug our ears to limit sound, or hold our nose to limit smell – but can you imagine not being able to feel? Can you imagine a life without that sense of touch that protects us? Can you imagine being unable to detect the caress by a loved one that gives us a feeling of comfort?

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the current feeling the beach gives me because I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

31 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: No. 48 (Touch)

  1. Wow, I never thought about that, imagine not being able to experience the sensation of touch….

    for complex reasons, some of the sensations of touch for me are altered, some heightened, some numbed. It is invisible but has a huge effect…

    This beach walk really has me thinking. You’d be a great beach walk companion although I imagine you like the silence of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachel,
      Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed this stroll. Once I started with the senses walk, I knew I had to go into the individual senses – and this is the first of 6. Glad to know I stimulated some thinking – and who knows – maybe a poem with come forth. 🙂

      Many of my beach walks are alone – and this year my wife was recovering from a big toe surgery. I like to walk quickly – but not racing for running – more not a slow stroll (although sometimes I do that). I’m a natural chatter box – so when I walk alone, the mind has to talk. 🙂


  2. Neuropathy has robbed me of much of the feeling in my feet. I am blessed and grateful to still be able to get around and I can still function using certain strategies and following a daily regiment of exercise. I do, however, miss that feeling of contact with the ground. I have forgotten what it feels like. I have had to learn how to walk and balance using repetitive motion and relying on my heels for stability and balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The sense of touch is truly experienced when one switches from auto-pilot to conscious awareness. We are better mentally and emotionally when we take the time to truly experience rather than just auto-process all our senses. Thanks for taking me on a conscious walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your beach walks are expanding my appreciation of being human. As I was reading your post today it got me thinking about the way our cat’s nose, paws, and whiskers work in perfect tandem with her extraordinary senses of smell and sight (in the dark). That’s what you’re experiencing on your beach walks – the senses working together. Thanks for writing about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      When someone applies this to other life forms (as your cat), that helps them understand what it means to be human – and understanding humans is not an easy task! Well stated!!!


    • Merril,
      Well stated. All the senses simultaneously working in tandem is one thing, us taking notice of that is a different matter – and no matter the time and place, noticing beyond the obvious takes our personal experiences to another level.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good Tuesday Morning, aFrank,
    A lovely walk on the beach focusing on our feelings from those grains of sand that wash up on the shore creating many sensations through our feet.
    Touch bringing to mind all we feel throughout our beings. Thanks for the lovely walk along the waters edge.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You had us thinking as we walked along the beach with you. No, I hadn’t ever thought what it would be like to not FEEL. As you say, we can imagine not hearing, not seeing, even not smelling. But without touch, I think we’d go mad.
    I can see why it would be hard for you to pick a song for your walk. If you’re like me, I take nothing with me when I walk the beach. No phone, just a pair of sunglasses and a smile. I prefer to listen to the sounds of the ocean and gulls and sucking sand.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pamela,
      Glad to know what resonated with you about this walk. (Thanks!) As far as electronic on the beach, sometimes I take my phone because I may talk to a friend back home. This year I also took a digital recorder to capture immediate thoughts. Once in a while I listen to a podcast or music, but most of the time, its me and Mother Natre

      Liked by 1 person

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