Friday, May 10, 2013

When on the rock . . .

I took my first walk of the season on Barges beach yesterday.
I've been here a couple of days, but walked with Nina.  
My sister prefers parts of the island one can walk quickly and energetically.  When I walk with Nina we walk on the roads and on the deer paths.  
We raise our heart rates.  Sometimes we sweat.  
We walk in a way that is good for our hearts, our blood pressure, a way that strengthens our bones and builds muscles and stamina.  

This is a good thing, and I love walking with my sister.

When I walk alone here on the island, if I don’t have a specific destination, I find myself almost invariably on Barges beach.  I can’t walk fast on Barges, even the “road” along the beach is cobbled unevenly with large and small round stones, ever-shifting sand, and tufts of whatever plant can find a roothold between the rocks.  

I can’t really look ahead for more than a moment or two. The only way for me to walk on Barges beach is looking down at the ground just ahead of my feet.
i saw coyote tracks
There are sandy stretches on this beach, but they change with every tide and every storm.  I can never know what is ahead of me at any given time, so to walk without stumbling and falling is to walk slowly, looking down.
the coyote was following a deer
I don’t mind this.  In fact I prefer it, which is why I am drawn, have always been drawn, to this particular part of the island.  Looking down forces me to focus on the small, the singular, the unique at that moment that is directly in my line of sight.  

Looking down is sand rounded beach glass, deep red or acid green strands of seaweed, perfect scallop shells.  Looking down is tide pools, sunbleached driftwood carved into unreal shapes, dodging the incoming tide.
looking down I found-

Walking up Barges beach in soft sand is good for the muscles, jumping from jetty rock to jetty rock on the way back down to the road is good for the bones.

Looking down, focusing on the small, the individual, finding what is unique directly under your feet lowers your blood pressure.  
It is good for the heart.