On a Beach Walk: No. 11

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

Ahead of me stands a Great Blue Heron – standing still and staring out to sea. Sometimes on the dry sand away from the constant waves. Other times at the water’s edge as water laps over the talons.

No matter where, the heron stares. Not pondering the meaning of life. Not reflecting on life, friends, or children. Undoubtedly working to find the next meal – so the heron patiently stands and stares.

The heron is watching for a struggling fish or crustacean in the shallow water. Standing with its neck coiled and a sharp beak – and together they serve as a sharp dagger action of a harpoon. When the heron walks, it does so slow as it doesn’t want to alarm its prey. But the heron is most commonly seen standing and staring – and all alone.

Some days the heron allows me to walk relatively close, while slowing stepping away. Other times as I approach, the heron flies ahead to a new spot – only to be disrupted as I again approach his new domain. The pattern repeats before the heron flies away to find a new spot to stand and stare all alone.

Some days I see the heron from afar – standing and staring all alone – and no humans nearby. Other times the heron patiently stands and stares at the sea, but with a fisherman – for the heron knows the likely source of the next meal and a possible feast for the day. Now that’s one smart bird.

The fisherman stands to tend the pole that appears to have a fish on the line – this heightens the heron’s attention. The fisherman walks away with his catch – but the heron follows. After freeing the fish from the hook, the fisherman tosses his unwanted fish toward the heron – who slowly approaches, then quickly uncoils its adaptive neck and beak to spear its prey – then swallows it whole.

The heron using its adaptations to survive and eventually produce other Great Blue Herons so the tradition continues over time. After all, the heron is design for a specific role in nature – just like all other living things in the nature that surrounds us.

We live in a self-maintaining wonderful creation that is a mere speck in the grand universe. There is so much to ponder as I walk the beach – a walk that is good for the mind and soul as water refreshes my feet.

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On a Beach Walk: No. 10

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

I prefer walking close to the water where the sand is smooth and tightly packed. Moving is much easier here than in the loose, dry sand away from the water or in the quicksand like sludge near the water where each step is a forceful slog.

While I walk the grains of sands cleanse my soles of loose skin. I see all that sand ahead and for who knows how far down and out to sea. All that sand here on this coast – and along many coast around this gulf – but also along the waters across the globe … and the sands of the deserts, too – oh my my – so much sand.

All those grains of sand moving through the hourglass of time that serves as a metaphor for the constantly changing beach. Each wave washing ashore slightly alters the landscape. So does the water through its moving tides. So do the winds of the day or a storm. Let alone the wind and water of hurricanes and typhoons that alter the land. The sand I see is it’s own great hourglass of time.

All that sand – those abrasive grains of silicon dioxide from many years of erosion. The gains that differ in size from beach to beach. The grains containing bits of shells, corals, and different rocks joining together to form its own palate of colors. Not only from white to grays to browns but also reds, blacks, greens, pinks, and oranges. These are the sands that refresh the feet of the world.

All that sand – the sand that is also the hardened material of sandstone – a rock found in the hills of the town of my youth. A town along the outside bend of a river with rocks along its banks as the sand collected on the opposite shore along the inner banks of the river’s big bend.

All that sand – sand as the foundation of concrete, mortar, and glass. Sand, the preference of plants desiring dryness delivered by sand’s porosity. Sand for cleaning, polishing, and filtering in both natural and human processes. The same sand that cleanse my soles as I walk.

All that sand – the constantly moving grains of time that scrub my soul as my mind thinks to make connections of a great creation – which are thoughts that cleanse my soul as the water refreshes my feet.

‘]After many days of walking the beach, my feet have a sense of renewal along with a sight tenderness resembling a light fire – but those soles are not red for they are refreshed – yet my mind and soul are also fresh and relaxed – which is why I like walking on the beach for it is good for the mind and soul while refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 9

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

The water is vast as far as the eyes can see. From the shallowest depths where the waters begin their retreat from the shore to the deepest of the deep – the depths of those vast waters are not uniform.

These waters contain much information about things we know – the living creatures and their interactions with each other and with the materials comprising the floor and the waters above. The shipwrecks tell stories about human life of days gone by.

The vast water is also the home to tales and fables. Those encounters with serpents and mermaids – a home of the gods and more – all spun from human imagination or ancient beliefs, some which live on today.

That vast water is an analogy for another seemingly endless landscape – the sea of information and connection of our daily lives known the Web – the internet. Just as the waters brings information to the shores for us to see, the internet brings knowledge to our fingertips for quick retrieval.

Just like the vast water of the seas, the internet hold tales and fables in the form of inaccuracies and half-truths that should be shifted and when found. We should not be like an unassuming fish grabbing any fisherman’s hook in their quest for food. That would be foolish – but many people do.

As I walk my mind suddenly shifts back to the vastness of the sea with its waves rolling ashore and across my feet. Unlike the internet, these waters remain a source for the unknown – the yet to be discovered life forms – the yet to be found treasures – the unknown that will be tomorrow’s known so it can have a place on the sea of information.

As I walk on the sand, the waters to my side are vast with information. At least for me, this is an interesting analogy as I walk the beach while refreshing my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 7

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

The sands display a myriad of shells. Different shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. Although they now lay idle on the sand, each was once a home for something alive – a clam, oyster, scallop, whelk, conch, or other Molluscan relative. Home for a comparatively simple life – a life born to eat so it grows and survives so it can reproduce then die. A life aiming at perpetuating the species so that species can fulfill its niche in nature.

A life with a collection point of nerves serving as its neurological center – but not a center of with emotions, intellect, problem solving, and complex communication. But a simple brain – one geared for operating body functions, movements, sensing, and responding. Sensing the presence of food or predators, the current’s direction, the water’s temperature, and more – to sense to react.

The numerous shells I see tell only a fraction of the story of what life in the water must be. All those shells contained a life – a life starting as a simple cell floating free in the water. A life that developed into a free-swimming larva or served as food for something else. A life that continued to develop into a young shelled organism or food for other organisms. Finally developing into an adult that can reproduce, yet also be a food source for other life.

No wonder adults release so many eggs as not all will get fertilized. Not all will survive the free-floating stage or as free-swimming larvae. Not all will develop into reproductive adults. No all will live a full adult life.

That’s the life of a mollusk – a clam, oyster, scallop, whelk, conchs, and others. Compared to ours, a life that is simple, but one that is ecologically important. Each fulfilling a niche in the intricate web of life on our planet.

This is what I ponder as I see the shells on the beaches that I walk. After all, walking is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

On a Beach Walk: No. 1

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

Never a run – very seldom a stroll – but a walk – a good exercise – and as we age, walking keep us moving. My wife and I walk at home. We walk on vacation. We walk on the ship’s deck when cruising. We like to walk.

As we walk, conversations can be short or long – the topics deep or shallow – important or trivial. In times of silence, my mind keeps going – to think – to ponder the world. Thinking is also good exercise. Like the body, the mind must keep moving as we get older.

We walked a lot in January – yes – on the beach as this was our first attempt at being snowbirds from the north who went south for the winter. Walking on the beach as snowbirds facing the difficult daily questions of wondering about the temperatures at home – wondering what’s for dinner – wondering about the day of the week or the date because we aren’t sure. Be

As I walk the beach my contemplations are mental dictations on imaginary paper. Oh the blog post I have created my walking. Yes – the perfect words of never-to-be published gems that never make it outside my mind. Sometimes poetic in the rhythms of Frost, Keats, or Poe – well, at least in my mind.

My thoughts can be simple or complex. Some about wonder – some leading to awe. Others start with awe and lead to wonder. Some are personal, others professional, and others in wide-ranging topic – but fiction is a rare occurrence. All this as water refreshes my feet.

Sometimes after walking I attempt to recreate those insightful words. Usually in a notebook – but it’s never the same as the perfect string of words while walking the beach – yet future posts they will probably be – simple reflections from my mind as I walk on the packed sand along the water’s edge where water retreats to the sea.

There will be more walks in the weeks ahead because we were in the south for 27 days. More walks because I like walking the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing my feet.

Do you like walking the beach? Long distances or short? Do you contemplate or just try to chill?

earlymornwalker

 

On Exploring Relationships

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. (Buddha, spiritual leader)

Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. (Stephen Covey, business leader)

Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you. (Deepak Chopra, philosopher)

People are basically the same the world over. Everybody wants the same things – to be happy, to be healthy, to be at least reasonably prosperous, and to be secure. They want friends, peace of mind, good family relationships, and hope that tomorrow is going to be even better than today. (Zig Ziglar, author)

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. (Audrey Hepburn, actress)

Everything that I said I’d do, Like make the world brand new, And take the time for you, I just got lost and slept right through the dawn, And the world spins madly on. (Steven Tannen, Deborah R. Talan, songwriters)

What does the video say to you?

On Christians, Jews, Vulcans, and Valentine

Although not published on this day, I happen to be writing this post on Yom Kippur – the Jewish Day of Atonement. I’m not Jewish, but I do believe that not only do different religions have some things in common, but “other than your own” religions provide principles that are important in helping a person live a spiritual life.

On Yom Kippur Jews use prayer to be retrospective on their own life, and then seek forgiveness for their wrong doings against God. By looking within at they have been and how they can be better, Jews use three steps of repentance: recognize, acknowledge, and resolve.

We live in age of town hall cranks, self-serving politicians, reality-show television, smack talk, obnoxious talk-show hosts and their listeners who help proclaim the spews of evil and ridicule of others to dominate our society of greed and self-promotion and interest. Therefore it seems that all of us could use self-reflection to develop civility, ethics, compassion, and an outlook of pulling others through the difficulties of life.

I’m not a Trekkie, but I’ve seen my share of Star Trek episodes and movies. The scene that sticks in my mind is the initial Vulcan assessment of Earth humans because they were appalled at our behaviors, cultural divides, use of fighting, and many other humanisms, which seemed uncivilized and barbaric to them.

Although some think of Vulcans as emotionless, I believe that it is more accurate to say that they work to suppress their emotions through self-control in order to use reason and logic in their problem solving and decision making. I often wonder if Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry thought of Vulcans as what humans could be.

And then there’s Philippians 2:1-4 from Christianity:

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

I can’t forget Tim Valentine whose blog I often read. Tim often writes about race because he truly believes that race should be irrelevant in human encounters. Although Tim realizes that society has made positive strides, to him advances are too slow as he wants people to treat each with civility and respect–regardless of race, religion, political labels, nationality, heritage, or whatever segments society uses to divide people.

So there it is, a religion embracing self-reflection for living a better life through care and compassion, another religion expressing love and compassion over selfishness, a fictional society stressing logic and reason to seeking meaningful solutions, and one person trying to not only practice what he preaches, but also promote for the good of all through respect for all. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if these principles were commonly practiced?