On the Finale: The Puzzle’s Last Piece

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Thought I’d have an opening song. For me, the tone of the first word fits this post.

 

In life, I’m not a “Look at me – see what I did” type of person. There are times I even prefer walking away or without fanfare. Of even do something without recognition. A friend told me that one of the reasons they like dancing with me is because I don’t bring attention to myself or the couple. I just dance. That’s a private side of me, but I must admit – I appreciate positive praise and recognition when it’s timely – more during because (to me and at times) after-the-fact seems shallow – contrived.

It is interesting how I’ve ended this place that has been part of me for over a decade. I knew I couldn’t just walk away from my regulars – leaving them wondering “Whatever happened to Frank?” I just couldn’t. On the other hand, just maybe – this formal closing series is something I needed for myself along while respecting my readers.

When I started my little corner of the world on 28 August 2008, I had no idea what I would do and for how long. Beyond writing a post and having people read and comment, I had no clue about what was to come. The respect, friendships, encouragement, and more have blown me away.

Some say a blog’s average life span is 3 years – and to think I’ve gone strong for 11+ years. Guess that means I did OK. Well, at least in these terms.

Many stats are worthless, but I’ve enjoyed watching them: 2,304 posts, 13,531 categories/topics, 442,397 visits, 96,911 comments, 8,017 followers. They cause me to smile – but I’m most proud of my longevity, versatility and the way I’ve handled myself here. Stats will also make me laugh in the future when I receive notifications of a new follower in the days to come. You know that’s going to happen. Maybe I’ll see the day when the counter rolls over to 500,000.

My first post was short – a mere 11 sentences with 166 words. The excerpt below is from that first post.

To readers I promise insight, yet will respect comments from others. I will be respectful to all as bashing is not my style, thus hope others are the same. Disagreement and criticism are fine, but it should be done with class. Other times I will simply provide information for readers to use.” (28 Aug 2008)

With much unknown ahead of me at that time, little did I know how those words would resonate in this final post over 11 years later.. Yes – I accomplished it!

I plan on leaving this blog up and hope to continue visiting and commenting on blogs. Maybe not as regular, but yes – you are important to me! You are part of me. We are friends who have never met. But, I hope to stay away for the rest of the month of February – or at least only be limited because I have some things I must do. Maybe I will start snooping around sometime in March.

My future plans? As long as I’m able, I want to keep doing what I’m doing: ballroom dance, walking, travel, golf, working at the golf course, and whatever else. I’ve started playing a bit of pickleball. In terms of blogging, wisdom tells me to beware of saying “never” because one never knows what lies ahead. I don’t plan to post here again – but I’ll let the future determine what I do on WordPress. Maybe I would use the mailing list here as a future announcement post.

Personally, I would love to turn the beach walking series into a podcast. That’s easier said than done, I’ve done the research – I know that endeavor requires a lot of work, especially for what I visioned – so, I doubt if that happens because I don’t want to dedicate that much time to the task.

I can say that I secured beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com just in case I proceed. If I move forward with the idea, I can’t imagine not letting many of you know. If I don’t do the podcasts, maybe I’ll return to blogging by solely focusing on beach walks. Maybe I’ll use this platform for an announcement to get the word out. Time will also answer that question. Therefore, I ask you to keep me notification active. 

I enjoy research. I enjoy writing. I enjoy interacting with visitors. To me, those are very important factors of blogging. I try to practice what I believe. If someone takes the time to comment, I feel obligated to be welcoming and reply with something meaningful. Then again, that’s time consuming – let alone reciprocating and visiting my favorite blogs. One of the reasons I’m stepping away is failing to meet my self-imposed values and standards.

I’ve tried to be true to myself here – that is, being who I am – well, at least who I think am. Each of us are different and complex in our own way – that defines humanity – and, I know I’m far from perfect.

In person, I try to be personable, friendly, and kind (but some people make that difficult). I have a sense of humor (that some don’t understand). I’m definitely a thinker and a contrarian one at that – yet not confrontational. Yes, I’m a talker, but not a nonstop talker who continues talking when they inhale. Emotional endings to movies can cause a tear or two. I’ve shed more than a few tears here recently – and YES, my eyes are blue. I’m average size and build (5’10.5″) and 67th birthday is coming soon. Cheers to other Aquarians.

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The closing process has been a reflection opportunity. Throughout my life, and no matter the endeavor, I’ve wanted the following: acceptance, respect, and appreciation while being part of something. I think those build my self-esteem. My work career is where I discovered my contrarian nature. Overall, I didn’t feel valued – the feeling of swimming against the current or being alone on an island. But, I had the desire and confidence to push forward with my ideas and approach – and in many ways, mission accomplished.

My contrarian nature, desire, and confidence continued here, and my readers here have made me feel valued – yes; accepted, respected, and appreciated. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me! Because of you, I’m a better person today than when I started this blog on 28 August 2008.

I also believe YOU are the ones that kept me going for so long! For me, some of the praise you have given me the past few weeks is a bit of a shock. Appreciative yes – but I’m still surprised. Simply put, I’m wired to think more what you have done for me as opposed for what I’ve done for you. After all, I’m just being myself. Maybe just a different view of selfishness.

I recently received an email about comments on the closing agenda post, and the person asked if I realized how much I had affected people. To be honest, I had not – so the message caused me to look at those comments in a different light. My impact on people here has never entered my mind. I’m not one who focuses on himself. In the comments of the final two posts I’ve included locations of commenters, which says two things to me – the world has touched me – and it seems I have touched the world. Now that’s an overwhelming thought. All I can say is, “Wow and thanks for allowing me into your life!”

It’s been a fabulous 11+ years – and I have no regrets. Blogging has been a gift, and you the treasure inside that gift. Thank you for being you and for visiting my little corner of the world. Thank you for accepting me and my quirks. Thank you for your role in making this a friendly place. Thank you for making me a better blogger. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for building my confidence in humanity. Hosting has been an honor and a pleasure that you have made easy.

Thanks to everyone for reinforcing my belief that the majority of people in the world are good, and for helping me take my little corner of the world beyond my wildest dreams. I love the people here! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Retrospect: The Posts

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This is post #2,302 – and the vast majority of them are non-fiction. Some say one should write about what they know – and for me, that’s been important.

Fiction and poetry are not my strengths nor my interests – but (over time), I did a few posts in those genres. Although I never thought of them as poetry, a few readers say my flow in the Beach Walks have a poetic feel – therefore are poems. To me, they aren’t – but I’m flattered when others say they are. Otherwise, I’ve only published one poem here.

As long-time readers know, I enjoy research. From more light-hearted topics as monthly celebrations (National Potato Month), weekly celebrations (National Rutabaga Week), and day celebrations (Talk Like a Pirate Day) – to saluting numbers celebrating birthdays (missing my upcoming one), anniversaries, milestones, or whatever – to serious topics as the separation of church and state, examining the US as a Christian nation, to the complex topic of the relationship between science and religion – I don’t really enjoy the research – I love it!

Entertainment (especially music) has been important for much of my time here in my little corner of the world. I remember the thought about featuring music with “time” in the title. That idea morphed into Time: The Musical with many acts featuring different aspects of time. Eventually, this led to 8 musicals of 81 acts. Before deciding to step away from here, Opposites: The Musical was next on the docket featuring consecutive acts of opposite terms (big/little, happy/sad, etc). Other long-standing musical ideas included Travel, Questions, Roadtrip,, and more ideas that I never created. Oh well.

On the plus side, the musicals paved the way for the Weekend Concert Series (23 posts). My initial intent was for these concerts to fill the void between musicals – a good idea that I never used.

My love for research and old cartoons led me to the Saturday Morning Cartoon series (71 posts). Featuring classic cartoon characters from the Golden Age of Cartoons, these posts were a pure joy to do.

Sometimes good ideas pop into the mind and they work – as it did with the Beach Walk series (71 posts). During my first season as a snowbird on the Alabama coast, I noticed my mind (especially while walking) focused on a topic in a different rhythm from my normal thinking pattern. Fortunately, I realized I needed to write notes after walking. Those notes would form the basis of a beach walk, so the series was born.

Collaborating was another good idea. It came to me after seeing some images by a long-time friend, Steve. We eventually did 5 posts together – but then expanded it to others. Thanks to Marina (2), Robin (3), and Ray (1). In my opinion, Ray had the most difficult challenge in this collaborative post.

I started another series – Take 5 – aiming to promote other bloggers. I only published one featuring Marina. Failure to do others is on me because I never got around to doing other interviewers.

Keeping in mind that I started this blog focusing on sports and politics, politics has maintained its space here. Whether in Opinions in the Shorts (425 posts) or posts on specific topics, I aimed high with pragmatism. In real life, I’m an authentic independent and an unapologetic moderate – and getting more so. One of my favorite posts explained my view of an independent moderate. Besides, I like liberal having their heads in the clouds because that is a response to the conservatives having their heads up their butt – and I am glad to be grounded with my head looking around to call it like it is.

Because I love research, of course there are topics that I wanted to do but never got completed. I actually started analyzing the Supreme Court rulings in District of Columbia vs.Heller (an important Second Amendment case). Definitely heavy reading, yet interesting. I may finish reading the majority ruling and dissents, but I won’t be writing about. I also had more to say about the relationship between science and religion, but I won’t publish them.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my travels with you. Some say they travel through me. Bringing my beloved Cincinnati to you has been a treat. From murals to events to places to my link to aces, eights, and Dead Man’s Hand, and to whatever. Resa, you inspired me to capture murals – yet, I left too many untouched.

It’s interesting how comments or posts by others spark ideas. I recall a post about the blogging blues – actually where I introduced an important phrase – blogging breaks are good. While some thought that post was my retirement announcement (which was never the intent), the discussion in the comments was so good, I created a good series (4-5 posts) from the fabulous comments. Readers shared so many useful insights that I had to re-share them with others. Personally, they should be required reader for all bloggers.

Introducing topics as handbells, ballroom dance, and the relationship between science and religion has been very rewarding. Thank you for embracing what may have been an unknown.

Although I’ve encountered a few WordPress members who only comment (and don’t post), publishing posts is the mainstay that drives blogging. In general, if they aren’t posting, they aren’t visiting. Blogging has been a wonderful experience for me on many levels – including (but limited to) the posts at this end.

Next Topic: The People (To be published Sunday 2 Feb @ 9:00 PM Eastern US)

On a Beach Walk: #71 (Homeostasis)

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

Recently thinking about balance caused me to wonder toward a related word – a very important biological concept. A word that is often mentioned and defined in biology textbook’s Chapter 1 or 2 as an important term – then seldom resurfacing. Teachers knowing its importance will regularly reinforce the concept throughout the course. Textbooks stressing this important concept are rare, therefore outside the mainstream.

The word – homeostasis – isn’t one that pops into everyday conversation. We don’t hear it on the news broadcasts or read it in news articles. Homeostasis has probably appeared as a Jeopardy answer in the form of a question, but doubtfully as a full category.

Homeostasis is that word that many do not know, but one that people know examples while not associating the examples to the word. Homeostasis has to do with balance, but not in the same sense as the actions when trying to walk a railroad track or balance beam.

Although our body is constantly producing heat, homeostasis is that mechanism keeping our body temperature relatively the same by releasing heat. If the body temperature lowers, a homeostasis mechanism adjusts to keep heat in and possibly produce more heat. After all, have you ever shivered?

Because reptiles don’t have an automatic mechanism to regulate body temperature, they adjust by responding with behaviors –  sunning on a rock to increase body temperature, or seeking  cool shade or a hole in the ground to keep the body from overheating.

In order to maintain a body temperature, the organism must have senses to detect external and internal temperature, plus ways to transmit those information/signals to bring about a response to maintain the balance – that’s homeostasis.

We take in water – most commonly through food and beverages. Our cells also constantly produce water. Our blood, over 50% water, continuously passes through our kidneys, which constantly removes water from the blood so it is released from the body as the key ingredient in urine. That’s homeostasis.

Water moving in and out of our body – yet, a mechanism is in place to keep the water level within us relatively constant. Making us thirsty when necessary – retaining water when needed – eliminating the excess if necessary. That’s homeostasis.

Many cells have water continuously entering, yet they don’t explode from over-swelling because of a mechanism for removing water is in place. That’s homeostasis.

Plants take in water through their roots, but also release water through their leaves – so plants must have a mechanism for regulating the two. Who would have imagined a similarity our kidneys have with plants – That’s homeostasis.

All living things require constant energy to survive, and regardless if caught, prepared, or made themselves, that energy comes from food – That’s homeostasis.

Our cells are constantly using food from the blood to make the energy required to sustain life. After we eat, our digestive system prepares the food so cells can use it. The final products of digestion move into the blood from transport to the cells for their use or to storage cells for later use. Insulin plays an important role in maintaining the sugar level in the blood – that’s homeostasis.

Living things have many examples of homeostasis, and maintaining body temperature and water and food levels are a few examples – but there are many others.

Yes – homeostasis is an important concept in biology and in life because it is important to all living things – birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, single cells, insects, worms, sponges, jellyfish, clams, crabs, plants, and more – all living things.

My teacher side came out for this walk – but maybe my thoughts have given you something to think about. After all, I like walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #66 (Communities)

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

Community is an interesting word – a word with multiple meanings – a word used differently by biologists, sociologists, and the general population.

I’m confident the initial thought for most people fits into the sociological word. In the biological world, a community is a group of different populations of organisms living and interacting together. All the small mouth bass in a specific lake form a population – not a community.

The lake community made up of different fish, turtles, insects, frogs, algae, single-celled organisms, plants, and more – all living and interacting together in various food chains interwoven into a more complex food web.

There is a biological community on this beach that I walk, although I don’t know enough about the organisms here. Another community exists within the shallow water that refresh my feet. Different communities exist with changing depths and distance from shore.

Whereas in terms of biology, we humans are one population of the same species – Homo sapiens – yet we relate to sociological communities – a group of people identifying themselves in a common spirit.

I think of the main (but different) communities in my current life – my neighborhood, my dance friends, my church, the golf club where I work, my golf league – all are groups of different people with common interests. Work and hobbies also unite people into communities.

I grew up in a small town that would be more of a community than a small city – yet the town had neighborhood communities: Sugar Run, Mulberry Heights, Lincoln Heights, Naylor’s Run, and more.

I think about the community of my nearby neighbors in my small town. We kids within a few streets who played together – and the parents who knew each other. Parents who would watch over all of us while we played – or even provide a snack to the group. It seems those days are not only gone, but I question if they will ever return.

A college campus is a distinct community within a municipal community. The two interact in a variety of ways, yet are quite distinct.

I think about the wave of immigrants who left their homeland to find a new life in America and other countries throughout the world. Many live in the same neighborhood, some of which live on today as areas known as Little Italy, Germantown, Chinatown, Greektown, and others.

I think about other types of communities today where people gather for support around a common interest – LGBT, a variety of personal support groups, like hobbyists as knitting, modern trains, Civil War reenactments, wine and many more. Let us not forget the political communities – groups of like-minded people around an ideology.

Technology has created electronic communities. Facebook connects a social network as a way to keep in touch with people you know. Blogs have fostered new connections of people who didn’t know each other and may never meet – yet join together to form a community of common interests, support, and genuine respect – so yes, technology and travel have brought the world community closer.

As I walk the beach on this day, I can’t forget the snowbird communities found here and throughout the southern US. Snowbirds – mainly retired people from northern locations who migrate to the south for warmer temperatures during winter. Snowbirds know that no matter how cold it gets here, it is warmer than home.

Being a snowbird is good because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #63 (Mars)

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

Good morning. The day is bright. The sky is clear and blue. The only clouds I see are on the distant horizon. Not many hours ago, stars filled the dark sky. Ancient civilizations thought of stars as twinkles attached to a dome that vanished by day, but today we know they are present behind the sky’s blue veil.

Probably everyone has wondered if life is elsewhere in the seemingly vast, endless void we call space. After all, our sun isn’t the only sun in the universe. Earth is located in the sweet spot of our solar system – but with many other suns, other sweet spots exist for life as we know it.

On the other hand, we humans are self-absorbed with ourselves thinking we are the center of everything. Let us not forget that at one time we said the Earth was the center of the universe with everything revolving around us and our planetary home. That was the prevailing thought of the time until new knowledge changed that view – although acceptance took time. Yet, some still embrace this notion.

Yes – today I want to think outside of Earth’s atmosphere. As my feet travel on this soft sandy, I wonder about the surfaces on other planets. Whether looking beyond the wild blue yonder or wondering as we watch the twinkling in the night sky – we wonder.

Although the song is not about this topic, the Moody Blues’ lyrics, “I know you’re out there somewhere” makes me wonder about life elsewhere. Does it exist? If so, is there any commonality with life on Earth? Then again, we could be the only life in the universe, and wondering about space is a gift for being human.

Life as we know it needs food, water, shelter, and something to breathe. Our needs are based on carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and phosphorous, which are the key substances (but not the only) that compose not only us, but all life forms.

I think about these needs in terms of space travel to a neighboring planet. Venus had water at one time but no longer does. Besides, it’s too hot. Mars is another neighboring planet – and those beyond it are too cold.

Mars – the red planet – a visible star with a reddish tint. Mars – 250 millions miles away – an eight-month journey. The technology to get there exists, and is being further developed. Technology for recycling materials during the journey and on the planet exists.

Technology to use the frozen carbon dioxide of Mars exists – as is protection from the solar radiation. But I wonder: Can the human body endure the journey? Can the human body endure that planet?

Some say the human trip to Mars is inevitable – even by 2040. Others say it’s a dream. Yet, we cannot forget these three important factors: 1) Earth is our most suitable home; 2) Colonizing Mars will not save us from ourselves here; and  3) Exploration is in human DNA.

From our migratory ancestors to early explorers; from the Vikings to European explorers as da Gama, Magellan, Hudson, and others of their time – from visiting the North Pole and the South Pole to climbing Mt. Everest – from diving deep into the sea to landing on the Moon – Yes, humanity wants to explore because humanity wants to know.

While we dream of Earth serving as the home base for that futuristic trip into the sky I see above, let us not forget that we also have the opportunity to appreciate what we have and take care of it.

On this day as I walk the beach, I dream – even fantasize about a possible future. Thinking about Space – the final frontier – “To go where no man has gone before.”

Earth is my home – actually our home. Earth is where we find the flat plains of grain, the rolling hills of green, and the tall mountains with majestic peaks. However, my feet are moving on the fine sand of this coastal community. After all, I like walking the beach for it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #61 (Beauty)

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

It is beautiful here – so today I wonder about beauty. What is beauty? Why is it different for everyone? Why is beauty in the eyes of the beholder?

We apply beauty to people, places, and things as events, music, arts, architecture, and more. The bottom line: Beauty is a state of pleasure; a specialized level of satisfaction.

For me, I think the most beautiful places I’ve seen. Nā Pali coast on Hawaii’s island of Kauai being the most beautiful uninhabitable place. But where people live, Italy’s Amalfi Coast grabs me with an irresistible force. Through my heritage, the valley setting of Bagni di Lucca on the Serchio River in northern Tuscany touches my heart.

The beauty of events etch a memory forever. Watching a sunset behind the Pacific from a plateau above the sea on Kauai was spectacular. Approaching Venice on a cruise ship, then going through a canal to dock streetside is a memory stuck in my brain. The colors of the sunrise I see here on this coast are inspiring. The tear that rolled down my check when I saw my wife walk down the aisle at our wedding.

Beauty is the peace delivered by a different messenger to different people – maybe a baby’s smile, a gentle touch, the togetherness of family, a ray of sunshine, or even a personal walk on a beach.

Nature’s beauty shows through its seemingly infinite design. Snow-capped mountains, sandy beaches, brilliant flowers, colorful fish, a herd of wild animals on a distant slope of grass – let alone the mathematical brilliance of a Fibonacci pattern or the brilliant geometrical designs seen through electron micrographs or even a spider’s web – or how common life processes are accomplished by a range of organisms from a single cell to plants to the largest animal.

The colors displayed by the Grand Canyon’s rock layers is one thing – but how the sun’s angle changes them throughout the day is inspiringly beautiful.

Although beauty can vary across time and cultures, through nature and behaviors, beauty is also timeless. The beauty of a person’s actions as sincerity, goodness, charitableness, helpfulness, and kindness are just that – timeless and not limited by cultural boundaries – as are the empathetic heart and listening ear.

Beauty is that combination of shape, color, and pattern that we find in art. Certain pieces and styles move a person – they stir the soul – but to others, their teeth hurt because their tastes and preferences differ. They see beauty elsewhere.

We can hear beauty. From the babbling stream, to the roaring water of a grand waterfall, to the calming waters of a walk on the beach, or a walk in a serene meadow. The physical beauty and natural sounds can capture the soul.

We hear the beauty of words. Some inspire, while others honor. Some words transform us, while others deliver peace and comfort through the right place at the right time.

The beauty of music can transport us to another place. Rachmaninoff delivers love while  Copeland brings pride through instrumental compositions. Many others do it through their voice that sings the beauty of the lyricist’s phrases.

I look across humanity to see many physical beauties: the glow of Nordic beauty – the exoticness of Middle Eastern beauty – the sensuality of Mediterranean beauty – the kindness in Oriental beauty – the steely and mysterious nature of Eastern European beauty – the regal confidence of African beauty – the uniqueness of Indian beauty that perhaps comes from cultural blending through genetics over many years.

Beauty is something we can see in cultures – through dress, customs, language, and actions. Each of our cultures do something for ourselves, while other cultures may be different, one can find beauty there.

Beauty is not limited to the eyes and ears. Aromas from the kitchen ignite a bountiful of beautiful thoughts and memories. We notice the beauty when our fingers pass over the smooth surface of a fine sculpture or the soft skin of our lover.

Let us not forget the beauty beach shells provide as I walk. From the physical designs to the combination of colors – from the small to the large – the smooth to the ridged. There is beauty in those shells for those taking time to look.

Yes, each of us determine beauty through our own lens. More importantly, life is full of beauty for those who not only take time to look and listen – but also to engage all the senses.

This beach is a beautiful place providing a collection of various beauties. Thinking about beauty is a reason I like walking the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: #60 (Havens)

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

My time on the Alabama coast is not only time away from the multiple blasts of winter, it’s also my time away from the regular routines of daily life at home. A respite from the normal. A time as my alter ego. Sort of a haven – so I wonder about havens.

I grew up near a New Haven, visited another to see Yale University. Even spent a series of days in Grand Haven. The latter that seems to best resemble the meaning of today’s keyword.

Haven – a place of safety – a refuge – a retreat, shelter, or sanctuary – a harbor, oasis, or sanctum.

To some, a library is a haven. Those repositories of information that can bring alive the past or fantasies. The place where one can grow in knowledge. The community resource space that is for everybody. Thinking of all the information available in a college library is a profound thought on its own. Maybe that’s why I stand in awe of the information while within a college library.

To others, home is their haven. A place where they feel the love and safety of family. Home – the place possibly symbolizing the most memories of life. Both leaving home and coming home stir emotions. Home is definitely a haven – but not for everyone.

Havens can be a place to remove oneself from the regular world – a quiet space as a park, a church, a meadow, a library, a beach, or even a room within one’s home. It can be sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree, relaxing on a deck, or reading in your favorite chair.

Havens are a place one relieves stress by seeking tones of harmony and peace. That place away from the negative energies of the world. That place of no anger, no pain, no discord, and no irritation. Havens are a place of content.

Havens are a chance to close one’s eyes to the world, but not sleep. A chance to enjoy the solitude – to decompress – to reflect – to wrap themselves in thoughts of comfort.

Havens can involve an action – reading, writing, listening to music, creating a craft, gardening, meditating, practicing yoga, sitting, sipping tea, and yes – even walking the beach. Some find their haven when running or during other forms of exercise – so havens are personal.

My winter time at the beach is one of my personal havens. I spend much of my time walking and thinking, listening to podcasts, and writing. I see others who find a haven in many hours of fishing. Some sit to talk with others. Some just sit in the chair feeling the warm breezes that deliver comfort to their soul as time passes while seeming to stand still. They may daydream or even fall asleep.

Listening to the sounds of nature is a haven – the sounds of natural silence that are void of the hustle and bustle of daily life. No passing cars or honking horns. Just the sounds of the surf to soothe the soul.

I walk because I get restless sitting. Reading in the bright of day is not easy for me.

I want to use the salty air, the tides, the sun, the clouds, the breezes, the sand, the sounds, and the water to serve as the grains falling in the hourglass of time. This is one of my havens – and walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.