On a Beach Walk: No. 41 (Storms)

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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.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 40

foot stepson grey sands with waters nearing it

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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.

On a Beach Walk: No. 38

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

No matter the day, one can rely on the waves. Some days they bring water ashore with a gentle, velvet touch. Other days as a thunderous and splashing roar.

Some days the moving water is actually a gentle roll allowing boats to smoothly glide. Other days the water violently toss vessels as if they are a small toy in a bathtub.

I think of the waves representing the ups and downs of life. The good days – the difficult days. I think of the parallels that these waves have with other waves as sound, light, radio, x-rays, microwaves, and infrared.

I think of waves signifying the euphoria of successes and personal highs, then the depths of grief and despair.

I think of waves representing the wide range of human emotions from calm to rage.

I think of waves as numerous metaphors in art, literature, and life.

I think of waves representing a link between the conscious and subconscious – that is the waves washing ashore are where the conscious and subconscious meet – therefore representing the tears of sorrow moving across one’s face.

I think of waves away from the shore and the energy the possess – the energy motivating one to catch the wave – the same energy that can tumble one into the abyss below.

Yet, the waves are one of the factors why walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 35

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

I see the faces of people I pass during the walk. I believe some people look at the sea and see faces in the water – but I don’t.

On the other hand, the sky is a place for faces. On this day, a full moon is in the daytime sky. Although it is not a bright smile as its nighttime glow, Mr. Moon’s presence is known – yet it can be easily missed. Each of us have memories of that face and how we see it.

Given that it’s daytime, we know Mr. Sun brightly shines to illuminate other faces; but we don’t see its face – yet we value its presence as it warms our face.

The clouds in the sky are always moving and changing. Sometimes they are happy and/or spiritual; other times a menacing evil. Sometimes a distinctive profile; other times an imaginative image as an ultrasound baby.

I think about real human faces – the ones that I pass during my walk and the ones that I’ve encountered through my 65 years. The many faces I’ve seen in malls, crowds, in my classes, during travels, and at any gathering I’ve attended. The faces of different people – the young and the old – the able and the disabled – the men and the women – the faces of different cultures and races.

The faces of different gifts and abilities – the musical, the artistic, the analytical, the athletic, the strong, the generous, the helpers, the kind, and many more.

The faces of smiles and kindness who are willing to embrace everyone. Those whose help lifts the faces of others.

The faces who are willing to share. The faces who truly try to help change the faces of others by helping a variety of needs – these are the faces bringing the shining light of humanity – but so are the kind faces who smile to each other as the pass when walking the beach.

Let’s keep on smilin’ because I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 34

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

Silence on this day as most of the birds – the herons, sandpipers, sanderlings, and pelicans are silent. Even seagulls frequently gather to stand in silence – but it seems they also enjoy hearing their own squawk.

I’m away from the sounds of the street – no cars, no trucks, no motorcycles interrupting nature’s natural sounds. The low tide stimulates my auditory sense with a variety of pleasures.

People sounds at the beach are minimal. It’s the off-season, so there are fewer people than during the region’s prime time (summer) – and present are primarily seniors. Other than friendly hellos as people pass, my ears don’t detect a human presence on the beach.

The rolling sounds of waves approaching the shore stereophonically pass by. An occasional thunderous clap serves as a warning of a high probability of a splash.

Today is a luck day as I notice my favorite beach sound – the steady, gentle splash of water gliding across shallow sand on its way to the beach. The sea seems to be speaking to me – Hush – Be quiet and enjoy – Shhhhhhhh – Listen and enjoy.

I hear the wind interacting with my ears. It’s easy to detect – from what appears as a light touch to a persistent whistle or even a roar. Then the wind’s auditory message changes as I turn to face the opposite direction.

I hear the regular rhythm of my feet on the sand with each step. It resembles a bass drum keeping the steady beat on a glorious sound of a marching band playing a classic march. I loved my band days.

My feet splashing through the water seemingly muddles the steady beat, but it’s still present.

I stop to stand and look out to sea. I listen. I hear the light popping of tiny foam bubbles caressing my feet.

Sounds are my thoughts on this day. One can hear so much when they take time to listen. Meanwhile, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 33

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

My day starts on a colorful note. I awakened early – stars were still visible in the dark sky and there was enough light to see the whites of the waves. The eastern horizon contains a narrow streak of light. Oranges soon appeared along with light blues, grays, and even reds to accent the black. The light show continues with gradual changes, then the sun eventually sneaks over the horizon to start a new day.

Wonderful colors started my day. Later, I walked noticing the water is pristine and a natural emerald-green of the area. I think of crystal clear blue seen in parts of the Caribbean, or that special Ligurian Blue of the Ligurian Sea in Italy.

The sunny sky is blue with a sprinkling of white clouds across the sky. Although the sand is whitish, most of the buildings are shades of white and beige with an occasional colored roof. There’s also a beautiful blue scattered on the beach by the water – the deep hued blue with a pink crown of the Portuguese Man-of-War stands out saying, “Don’t step on me or else!”

People bring bright colors to the beach. T-shirts, sportswear, swimwear, umbrellas, chairs, and more provided spots of brightness. The beach flags today are also yellow (Medium hazard, cautious swimming) and purple (Marine pests – the stinging ones).

But the natural colors are what I ponder the most. The wide-ranging colors of shells always capture my attention. With different shades of brown and gray – and with brown combining with red to provide orange – but red is not absent. Some grays have so little white that they are black, yet a few have so little black they are white. Colors often combine in different arrangement in bands, streaks, or blotches.

I return to the emerald water that transports me to the spring and summer at home. All the greens. So many shades of green in nature resembling the many shades of green found in paint stores – and probably more. The plant’s green comes from chlorophyll that captures light necessary to produce their own food.

Plants have different amounts of the two types of chlorophyll, which can also be found in different concentrations. Different habits, leaves of different ages, and different amounts of minerals contribute to different shades of green in nature. It seems the biology teacher is still in me.

I’ve noted an array of colors on my day, but who knows how many I’ve missed. Noticing colors is a good thing, especially when walking the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On Beach Walk: No. 26

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

From the balcony, the sound of the waves is less rhythmic than when walking along the shoreline. Yet I still hear a stereo effect of moving from one ear to the next. The sound is like constant hum containing fluctuations as I hear an accumulation of many simultaneous actions. Yet, the sound of the ocean from the balcony across the beach is soothing.

As I walk near the water’s edge, the sound is different. The waves are still constant and repetitive – however, each day is different. From the calm days to the stormy waves of anger, the waters speak in different tones as if they were different languages.

We commonly refer the sound of the waves as a roar – but it’s not the same roar as a lion or tiger. While both are sounds of power and might, the lion follows the roar with silence – but the sea does not.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roar of a crowd at a sporting event. While both provide a constant as background, the crowd’s excitement is not a predictable rhythm.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roars of laughter caused by a comedian. Those are sounds of joy and approval – but not even close to the consistency of the sea – which can also bring joy.

The waves coming ashore roar – but it is not the same as the roar of a jet engine. Yes, the jet engines starts as a loudness then fades away as it moves down the runway – but it is more gradual than the roar of the sea. Sometimes when I walk I hear the jet’s roar across the sky, then look upward to find it. Other times the sea mimics the flight, and then I look upward to find nothing.

The waves coming ashore roar – but maybe the roar of thunder is the best analogy. Thunder rolls across the sky just like the roar of the waves roll across the beach. Thunder loudly claps to announce its nearby presences just like the waves. The wave’s thunder clap also announces that water is coming my way – sometimes splashing me – yet also touching my feet.

The roar of the waters of the beach are relaxing, serene, and reliable. They carry a sense of freedom that makes walking good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.