Man, I love me some beach. For certain, inherited it from my mother, who had to do regular beach walks; would drive for hours when she lived inland. I’d always found them challenging — when I was younger, I had so many more important things to do. Later, it was physically challenging. Now, I embrace them with all my heart. I’ve been walking daily, a long way (for me). I find just the right firmness of sand, and thrill at each little noticing.
Whether it’s the ghost crabs, the softness of the air, a tiny panga filled with nine fishermen purring by, a morning surfer, or incoming water surprising my ankles with a kiss.
Is it just me, or do the waves actually have personalities? Some are confused, some loving, a bunch of them gang up and start pounding, then there are the shy ones. None are silly, though. They can be playful, but always with purpose. Meditation teachers liken them to our monkey minds, with so very much action going on at the surface, when down below all is quiet and calm. I literally cannot wrap my mind around the entire, whole worlds that are down there, below the sea, with mountains and canyons and lost civilizations and all.
Then there are the amazing things you can find on the beach (other than plastic to pick up and take home). The most perfect, tiny pink shell that hasn’t been the least bit bothered by battering water. An altar for no apparent reason. An entire former tree who survives the summer storms by simply changing orientation, and becoming even more beautiful. A tree that knows it belongs on the beach.
Some days, walking the beach is like going to Thriftway — it can take hours by the time you stop and visit with all the friends you come across. Get caught up on the local news. Who’s coming, who’s leaving. The gringoes are definitely like the tides on the beach — a regular infusion of fresh energy. Who needs help. Who’s having a party. Whose parents are arriving. Grandchildren. Who’s playing at Eden or Present Moment tonight? Where shall we go for dinner. Just like at home — takes hours.
And then some people enjoy the beach by simply sitting still:
After the New Moon last week, with requisite beachfire ceremonies, the tides were really high and the sand was too soft to walk for a few days. Just as well, as I’d overdone it a bit, legwise, and my body said it needed a break. I missed my beachwalks. Today, the sand firmness was perfect once again, and all is right with the world.