On a Beach Walk: #59 (Sunsets)

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

Although the sun is high as I walk toward the west, the sun will set in a few hours.

Personally, I favor sunrises over sunsets – an event that only we early birds see. Whereas the sunrise appears as the faint music we hear arising from the quiet that continues crescendoing until its midday peak, the sunset is the corresponding decrescendo that fades away into the silence of the night.

Sunrise is a time when we patiently watch the sun without squinting – without worry of harm – a time when we are taken by its peacefulness and feeling of comfort.

However, now I wonder: Will today’s sunset be brilliant? Time will tell, so now I think of the time of day that captures many hearts – sunsets.

Sunset is a time when blues, pinks, yellows, and oranges paint a beautiful picture that is also unique. A time when colors depend on the presence of particles, water droplets, and just enough clouds in the sky to display the day’s final brilliance.

Sunset is a time when the shadows are long and point to the east – but they will soon disappear into the dark – very soon.

Sunset is a combination of fascination and melancholy that says goodbye to the day, then hello to a new evening.

Sunsets mark the end of the day and the beginning of a time to rest. But for the night owls, the day is young as they will embrace the dark.

Sunsets over the water our sensual as we watch the lowering sun softly and slowly kiss the sea. The sun appears as a candle drip that disappears while leaving a brilliant light in the west while darkness is engulfing the sky from the east.

Sunsets symbolize the end of one’s life. Starting at the birth of sunrise, our life is the sun’s arc across the sky. A life full of ups and downs – happiness and sadness – successes and failures – a journey when we interacting with many – even influencing some. As our sun disappears, our memories live on in those who remain – yet in time, most of us will be forgotten – simply fading away as the sun that never rises again.

The sun is gone, but the bright sky of dusk remains as a distant bonfire celebrating the passing day that is now a memory.

While the sunset is full of wonder, mystery, and symbolism, I will watch today’s sunset with a renewed sense of its meaning – all because I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 54 (Soundscapes)

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

How many layers of sounds do I hear as I walk? What if I could magically turn off all the sounds here; then bring them back one by one? In what order would they appear?

From the depth of silence, I would first return the sounds of the waves because they are the beach’s heartbeat. Ever present – always steady – sometimes louder – but the sounds of the sea serves as the conductor of the steady symphony I experience as I walk in this place.

As I stand facing the water and feeling the laps gently caressing my feet, I can hear the tiny bubbles of foam. That air trapped in the water being released into the atmosphere. Maybe that’s my transition sound.

Then comes the wind. The wind can greatly vary in its presence through direction and speed. The wind can pass my ears as a roar of a passing train. It can also be a soft whistle – or even the calming sound and feel of a gentle touch. But wait – the same wind sounds different depending on the direction as I walk.

The next layer would be the birds. As a whole, they are not a noisy lot. The seagulls squawk, but not constantly. The pelicans are stealth as they effortless soar just above the water’s surface. I occasionally hear the tweet of the sanderlings as they fly by.

I don’t hear insects or the sand crabs but it does not mean they don’t create sound. Nor do I hear human traffic or construction – but that may be a different soundscape.

I could add the sound of my feet. That steady bass drum that only I hear as I walk – or the splashing with each step as I walk through the passing water.

People would be the next sound. This time of year numbers are few. Humanity’s auditory presence is not constant – actually infrequent would be more accurate. The sounds in peak season would be different with the kids romping, teens playing beach volleyball, and radios blaring.

A soundscape at home in Ohio would be different than here. Would it be rural or urban? In a meadow or the woods? By day or at night?

Maybe I would start with rustling leaves; then add the gentle waters of a babbling stream. Insects would then buzz followed by birds chirping. Nightfall would remove the buzzing insects and chirping birds of the day, but replaced by the crickets, followed by the chorus of croaking frogs, then the occasional screeches of owls and the howling of mammals.

No matter where nature’s symphony plays, what if one of the sounds were eliminated. A concert with missing instruments. A piano concerto with missing keys.

I think about the lyrics in a Nat King Cole song – Mother Nature and Father time.

Every robin is my brother
They sing their songs to me
The tiny black-eyed daisies
The mighty red wood tree
There all my family

Then why do I feel so lonely
Like a king on an empty throne
There’s one thing that’s missing only
A true love to call my own

Won’t you listen mother nature
And listen father time
Please help me to find someone
To fill these arms of mine
Mother nature and father time

I wonder how many pictures can a soundscape paint? Thoughts of soundscapes are more complex than I imagined – but thinking about soundscapes is a good reason why walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 2

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

The rhythmic action of the waves catches my attention. Each wave washing ashore is different with its terminal points resembling a changing graph with many peaks and troughs – but each wave retreats to interfere with the next incoming wave.

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No matter the day or time, the waves have a rhythm – but they differ from loud and roaring to a gentle ripple – yet all are refreshing on my feet.

Waves – the heartbeat of the sea delivering a reliable steadiness – the steady presence of the message they deliver.

Waves – the poetry of the sea singing tones of aquatic melodies for our souls.

Waves – one of nature’s languages sending bliss to those enjoying their mere presence.

Waves – the rhythms within a rhythm – a different rhythm, but no less a rhythm – the tides affected by Mr. Moon. The tide is either moving in or out – a movement I can’t tell unless I know it’s timing. Yet, this relentless rhythm keeps its own time – the time of the next tidal crest.

Waves and tides – two of the timeless, reliable rhythms of life that make creation and the nature within it so grand.

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

 

On a Fire that Isn’t

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The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire. (Pamela Hansford Johnson, critic)

During 2 weeks in February in Yosemite National Park, the light from a setting sun lines up to not only illuminate a waterfall and its mist, the light also gives the water a fiery appearance. Sit back and enjoy this spectacular natural phenomenon.

On Exploring a Musical Design

Introduced in 1202 by Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa (also known as Fibonacci), the Fibonacci Sequence is a series of numbers formed when the next number is determined by adding the previous two numbers. By definition, the series begins with 0, 1.
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, …
The Fibonacci Sequence is also related to the Golden Ratio – the divine proportion – the golden mean – the ratio that is most pleasing to humans – the ratio applied in architecture, drawing, painting, designs, and more – the ratio commonly found in nature. For your weekend Explore, here’s an original musical composition inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence. Enjoy, and for those needing more about Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio, see the links below the video.
Two related past posts

On Exploring Blooms

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. (Luther Burbank, botanist)

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. (Joseph Addison, writer)

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke, poet)

The rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms. (Angelus Silesius, poet)

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet)

Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly? (Emily Bronte, novelist)

I draw flowers every day and send them to my friends so they get fresh blooms every morning. (David Hockney, artist)

It’s winter for us in the northern hemisphere. Those of us in the upper half experience cold and snow. This Explore is about the days to come … and a dose of spring for those who need it.

On Exploring a Giant

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. (Steve Jobs, business professional)

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. (Pedro Calderon de la Barca, dramatist)

In the game of life, less diversity means fewer options for change. Wild or domesticated, panda or pea, adaptation is the requirement for survival. (Cary Fowler, business professional)

Modification of form is admitted to be a matter of time. (Alfred Russel Wallace, scientist)

Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose. (Richard Dawkins, biologist)