ALONE ON THE BEACH

This is the best time of year to languish on the beach, pull out a good book and umbrella, and sit and read. Around this time of year I crave for the beach's serenity. I long to go there and breathe in the soothing aroma of fresh ocean air. I try to read and I aways put forth a valient effort but I always give into the pull of the sea's powerful energy.

I allow myself to fall into a sort of "hazy" (It’s the only way I can describe it - mere words can’t capture it) formless sleep. As the physical world fades from consciousness I find myself enveloped by a warm, heavenly, mindlessness that carries me gently into its realm. This is a different sort of consciousness - a consciousness that can only happen at the beach.

In this place my mind is clear and devoid of thoughts. It’s the type of reality that can only be experienced here. It’s the only place I awaken feeling light-head and drained accompanied by a kind of "density" which forces me back into the alternate reality of life.

I'm reminded of Anne Morrow Limbergh's advice about reading on the beach:

THE BEACH by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“The beach is not the place to work; to read, write, or think. I should have remembered that from other years. Too warm, too damp, too soft for any real mental discipline or sharp flights of spirit. One never learns. Hopefully, one carries down that faded straw bag, lumpy with books, clean paper, long over-due unanswered letters, freshly sharpened pencils, lists, and good intentions. The books remain unread, the pencils break their points, and the pads rest smooth and unblemished as the cloudless sky. No reading, no writing, no thoughts even – at least, not at first.

At first, the tired body takes over completely. As on shipboard, one descends into a deck-chair apathy. One is forced against one’s mind, against all tidy resolutions, back into the primeval rhythms of the sea-shore. Rollers on the beach, wind in the pines, the slow flapping of herons across sand dunes, drown out the hectic rhythms of city and suburb, time tables and schedules. One falls under their spell, relaxes, stretches out prone. One becomes, in fact, like the element on which one lies, flattened by the sea; bare, open, empty as the beach, erased by today’s tides of all yesterday’s scribblings.

And then, some morning in the second week, the mind wakes, comes to life again. Not in a city sense – no—but beach-wise. It begins to drift, to play, to turn over in gentle careless rolls like those lazy waves on the beach. One never knows what chance treasures these easy unconscious rollers may toss up, on the smooth white sand of the conscious mind; what perfectly rounded stone, what rare shell from the ocean floor. Perhaps a channeled whelk, a moon shell, or even an argonaut.

But it must not be sought for or – heaven forbid! – dug for. No, no dredging of the sea-bottom here. That would defeat one’s purpose. The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

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