On a Beach Walk: No. 46 (Heart)

Embed from Getty Images

 

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

Today I think about the heart, that 11 ounce (310 g) fist-sized hollow muscular organ whose sounds we associate with life. The heart whose sounds debatably marks the beginning of life, yet unquestionably noting the end.

The heart whose steady sounds are as regular as the rhythm of the waves that come ashore. The heart whose EKG charts of peaks and valleys I see in the waterline formed ahead of me on the beach as I walk.

The steady sounds of my feet striking the sand with each stride creates a steady bass drum beat that resembles my heart steadily pumping waves of blood – but I think the sea must have its own heart pumping a steady rhythm of waves coming ashore.

The heart – that symbol for behavioral standards as empathy, appreciation, enthusiasm, and love.

The heart – whose action descriptors include aches, breaks, explodes, touches, and hardens.

The heart – that symbol showing its power in numerous idioms as have a heart, pour out your heart, heart of a lion, heart-to-heart talks, a heart of gold, wearing their heart on their sleeve, a warrior’s heart, and a heart of stone – a hardened heart.

The heart can be young, untamed, lonely, broken, hungry, crossed, and mended – yet have a mind of its own.

Thoughts of heart-and-soul touches us deep within – but its Cupid who delivers the greatest heart of them all – love -love with the heart being the psychological center of a relationship. Yes, the heart – that source of tears of joy – tears of hurt – tears of pride – tears of endearment – tears of certain moments of beauty and sentimentality.

While the heart also delivers passions, blessings, prayers, hope, and forgiveness; the heart is about grace and peace of mind.

The heart shares, listens, consoles, and gives genuine kindness. The heart promises and trusts while also having a sense of justice.

Now I wonder – Is there a more powerful symbol than the heart? Is the heart our soul? Something to think about – but perhaps on another day. Thinking about the heart today delivers a smile because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Advertisements

On a Beach Walk: No. 45 (Windows)

Embed from Getty Images

 

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

As I walk, I look at the buildings. Regardless of the size and location, all have windows – those panes of glass providing light, views, and protection to those inside.

The windows are different sizes and orientations. The vast majority are rectangular while the multi-sided and circular are few – yet, all these windows trigger my thoughts on this day. Yes, windows – those mere openings in a wall covered by glass.

My head turns away from the buildings and toward the water where I spot the horizon – that line where the water meets the sky as I wonder what lies beyond that metaphoric window.

On this day many clouds fill the sky while serving as a translucent window allowing light through while blocking what lies above. The occasional hole of blue serves as a reminder of other days while blue patches serve as a window beyond the clouds.

Even on the cloudless days, the blue sky serves as a window shade to what lies beyond for night is what allows us to raise the shade to examine and dream about what lies beyond.

The water’s surface serves as a window to the beauty and history to what lies below. However, one seldom sees that world until they pass through that window’s opening into the aquatic underworld.

I think of medical equipment as various scans and tests that allow medical professors to peer through the opaque window of our skin and bones into our internal world of normalcy and abnormality.

I think of microscopes allowing us to pass through a window into a world where our eyes cannot naturally go. I also think about telescopes taking us beyond our atmospheric window into a distant world that we try to imagine.

I think of other windows such as poems – a collection of a poet’s words causing us to reach deep into our soul for understanding of the poet’s world – a world that the poet allows us to discover by looking through the window of their words.

I think of books as windows – both fiction and nonfiction for they allow us to expand our world by travelling through the window of knowledge and creativity with reflection, learning, and fantasy.

I think of learning a process taking us through the window of a world that we do not know that works to close the window to ignorance while opening a seemingly infinite number of windows into a new world.

I think of windows are an interval of time – a span providing an opportunity – that golden hour – whether planned or by chance, that optimal moment for something to happen.

Windows – whether open or closed – real or metaphor – windows are worth pondering. Thinking about windows is a reason why walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 44 (A Community of People)

Embed from Getty Images

 

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

Today is a Friday. The morning is cool – even cold to some – but, I am confident this afternoon will be comfortable for all. No matter how cold it is here, it is still warmer than home – but today I think about that distant place I call home.

There, our normal Friday night routine is ballroom dancing. We won’t be that here – but I think about that home dance community on this day.

The Friday night crowd is typically 50-75 people gathering for dancing and socializing. Most are regulars – many I’ve gotten to know – other I have not. It is an interesting collection of people that make it work.

Dance abilities range from A to Z. Only several compete, while others don’t hear the beat or the timing well. Most are in between.

Some dance with a variety of people while others dance with only their partner – but everyone has a good time.

There are married couples and married solos. Others are single, divorced, widowed, or re-married. There are parents, grandparents, and the kidless. There are American born and foreign born. Ages vary – but most are over 40. Those over 60 and 70 say, “Dancing keeps them young by keeping us moving.”

There are the tall, the short, and the in-between. The overweight, underweight, and the just about right. The fit and the not-so-fit. Introverts and extroverts. Locals and transplants.

There are the retired, still working, and about to retire. A wide range of professional skills including engineers, electricians, teachers, doctors, realtors, lawyers, technicians, pharmacists, firemen, scientists, accountants, physical therapists, service industry workers, managers, customer service representatives, carpenters, IT professionals, machinists, and the self-employed.

There are certainly Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, and Agnostics – and I will assume some Atheists. Surely a wide range of thoughts exist about creation.

There are Democrats and Republicans, while others are unaffiliated or don’t vote. Throughout the room are conservatives, liberals, ubers of each, and moderates. Nationalists and globalists are also present.

The music plays – people smile and dance. They laugh and converse. A wide variety of people with variety of backgrounds, personalities, interests, and personal philosophies that make it work despite their differences.

As I walk, thinking about this group at home causes me to smile. It also reinforces my belief that the majority of humanity is good – and this is a good feeling to accompany me because I like walking the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 43 (Frontier)

Embed from Getty Images

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

I look at the water and see only water – yet only a small portion of a vast collection that makes our planet blue. In the distance is a line where the water meets the sky – the horizon – the place where the known meets the unknown – the horizon – the boundary separating dreams and reality.

At one time some stood on shores looking over the water and wondering what was beyond that line. Seeking beyond the horizon was the next frontier. In our own way, we still do that.

I look above at the clear blue sky and it is easy to think about what is beyond that blue window. Thinking about last night’s clear sky and plethora of lights causes anyone to think about the vast frontier we call space.

It is easy to imagine how some in humanity saw the stars as mere lights attached to a dome surrounding us.

The frontier of the open sea. The frontier of a new land. The frontier of the air. The frontier of the heavens above. The frontier of the water below the surface. The frontier of what we cannot see with the unaided eye. These were all regions of the unexplored – an uncharted territory – the unknown – a frontier.

The frontier – a line separating the explored and the unexplored. Frontier – a region leading to the next advancement in knowledge. Vaccines, medicines, electronics, robotics, microtechnologies, and so much more were part of a frontier at one time. Yet as knowledge increases, the frontier also expands like an infinite bloom.

Galileo changed accepted thinking of his day because he explored a frontier with the telescope. Today, the Hubble Telescope takes us far beyond what Galileo imagined. In that same time period microscopes started to take us into the world of the small. Now today, electron micrographs take us to the very small. Atomic force microscopes are capturing the view of atoms and molecules – all journeys into a distant frontier.

Those who explore frontiers are heroes. Some gain fame – others not. Think of the explorers who reached into the New World from the Old World. Think of wilderness explorers as Lewis and Clark going into the wilderness of the US western frontier. Think of astronauts going into the unknown of space. Think about all the scientists involved in the many increments leading to a new, important breakthrough to which only a few a credited. Think of all the people who stretch themselves beyond the boundaries into an unknown world.

Curiosity to explore in order to learn more in a new frontier is naturally human because we want to know more about ourselves and our place in the world. The urge to know is emotional because exploration is in our DNA. Yes – we want to know – and yes, personal growth is also a journey into a new personal frontier.

Frontier – that next advancement in knowledge comes from the abyss of uncharted territory. Frontier – that extreme limit of our understanding or achievement. Frontier – that region that is only marginally explored.

The many steps on this beach is my frontier because each day is different on this long stretch of sand. Each day is a different thought because the beach changes daily. Each day is a frontier for me because I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 42 (After the Storm)

Embed from Getty Images

 

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

The past few days have been warm, but the strong winds and threat of rain kept my feet off the sand, therefore moving my walks to the treadmill, the city trails, or even the back of the building.

The storm front passed bringing a cold morning with gloomy skies. By noon, the sun accompanied a blue sky and a normal breeze – so the sands called me to walk.

Ahhhh … I missed my feet being here.

I go to the west without knowing my final destination – but it is into the wind. The air is still brisk, so I’m dressed accordingly. I laugh when a gentleman passes by because we are both in shorts – but he is shirtless while I feel comfortable with three layers and a hat.

More debris is present on the beach today. Not only brought ashore by the turbulent water, but the dredging project at the nearby channel exacerbates the litter. I watch for shiny metallic bits to avoid.

The sand is extra smooth from the winds and the roaring waves of recent days. The sand at the waterline is how I like it – firm and with minimal slope.

The firmness makes walking easier as more energy transforms into forward motion. There’s no forced lifting from sinking into the muck.

The relative flatness allows the water to glide ashore, then gently wash over my feet, then back to the sea. The slow retreat allows time for the sandpipers and sanderlings to forage for food in the freshly washed sand.

The sea foam slowly returns to the water as it adheres to the shore as legs of a full-bodied wine clinging to the inner sides of an oenophile’s glass.

Human presence on the beach today is sparse. Besides shirtless guy, I see only four fishermen on my trek and a handful of others. Turns out this is my first walk of the year to the point with the and the channel – about 2 miles (3.2 km) before turning for the return trip.

Although the morning conditions limited me to the fitness room, I still smile. My hands are cool – but not cold. I clothed with the shorts, three layers and a hat. What a beautiful day to return to the beach and my walking routine.

After all, I like walking the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 41 (Storms)

Embed from Getty Images

 

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

In advance of a storm front due to pass in mid-afternoon, many clouds dominate the sky. They are not a solid mass, but an irregular one showing a seemingly unlimited spectrum of gray. The clouds nearly saturate the sky as ritual smoke as they move to their own cosmic dance.

Scant patches of blue periodically appear as holes leading to a greater beyond. Sometimes, an opening aligns with the sun to shine light on me. Other times the sun transforms a puffy cloud into a brilliant white aerial statue.

The wind is a little stronger today at it assists me in my eastward walk – but I know it will provide resistance on my return trip.

The winds travel across the water’s surface creating ripples for as far as I can see. I look at the thick clouds above whose lower surfaces appear as ripples caused by the same wind. There must be a connection.

The sea is more agitated than normal – unlike their more placid nature of yesterday. The red flag warms visitors of riptide currents, yet the sea is far from the fury whose tempest took ships to their unexpected but permanent mooring on the ocean floor.

The storm is not yet here – and may or may not live up to forecasted expectations. The clouds serve as a blanket of anticipation – but not a positive one because they display a haunting gloom of the approaching afternoon worry.

Storms make people anxious – just as the difficulties, trials, and tribulations do in life. Personal storms tend to weaken fragile foundations, but those with a strong cornerstone survive and come forth with strength and wisdom.

I think of storms as metaphors because storms are like problems, scrutiny, anger, life changing events, trials, and tribulations. We are aware of the political storms of controversy and ideological differences, but brainstorming seldom solves these problems.

Fortunately, information does not imply that the current and approaching weather conditions are aligning to be the perfect storm – but I wonder about not only its turmoil, but the calm on the other side – even the possibility of a rainbow, then the sunshine to follow.

For now, I don’t worry. I enjoy this time because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 40 (A Return)

foot stepson grey sands with waters nearing it

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

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

After arriving, unpacking, grocery shopping, and a supply trek to Costco, today is my first full day of our respite as snowbirds.

It’s good to return to life as my alter ego – the time without appointments – a time of minimal commitments – a time without the feeling that I have to do something – a time when I try to leave my daily burdens behind. I’ve carried some of life’s baggage with me to this place – that’s what life does – but it’s different than a year ago.

It’s good to see the fine, off-white sand from the balcony for the first time since a year ago.

It’s good to see a seemingly endless vast view of water that will help me discover metaphors for future walks.

It’s good to have the first struggle with the fine, soft sand on my way to the water’s edge.

It’s good to feel the packed sand at the water’s edge that will serve as my pavement for the weeks to come.

It’s good to begin my daily walking routine as I move eastward for the first walk. On most days I will get over 10,000 steps before noon. I hope for a day-long trek before leaving.

It’s good to see the string of shells marking high tide. Each year we’ve focused on different shells, but because we have enough, we will give preference only to the unique shells we encounter.

It’s good to feel the water moving across my feet. It’s a bit brisk at the moment, but I’m confident a truly refreshing temperature is approaching.

It’s good to see my first group of sanderlings – the small birds with the fast-moving legs in their ongoing hunt for food at the water’s edge. Their presence always makes me smile.

It’s good to hear the sounds of the beach – the water coming ashore – the whistling of the steady breeze – the squawking seagulls – and even the air traffic from the nearby naval air station.

It’s good to smell the freshness of the sea air – that hint of salt with a skosh of marine life – a different scent than the air of my inland home.

It’s good to see the pelicans effortlessly gliding just about the water’s surface, then redirect upward only to turn around to dive after unwilling prey below the surface.

It’s good to know that some days I will see a group of dolphins passing by on their hunt for food.

It’s good to know that the sea will probably show me many emotions on its face – those emotions varying from placid calm to raging anger.

It’s good to start the process of letting the sand jettison the old skin from the bottom of my feet. If the past is an indicator, by the end of the stay my feet will have a warm glow.

Let the exfoliating begin because I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.