Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walking Long Beach

My walking place is actually a preserve, not a beach in the sense of lifeguards and lots of parking, beach chairs and sand castle builders. It is a spit of land between a long inlet and the ocean and is about a mile long. Not many people go there. At 7 or 8 in the morning the population is usually less than ten. I have only walked on the ocean side for a few weeks because the dunes and the marshy places on the inlet side have been restricted while shorebirds were nesting and hatching their young. Now only a few little areas remain restricted so this morning for the first time in a month, I walked the inlet side nearly to the end and then crossed over and returned along the ocean.

Above is the board walk which is not very long leading to both sides. And below is a bit of the inlet side which has only occasional small patches of sand, much of it pocked or pimpled with crab holes. Once in a while one can see the little crustaceans lurking at their entryway but rarely are they seen outside. Obviously they are something of a buffet for those same shore birds. The life of a tiny crab is short and probably not happy although I suspect happiness is much too abstract an idea for the few brain cells the beastie might have.

Beginning the day beside both the quiet of grasses and relatively still water and then returning beside the gentle incoming or outgoing tide of the wide inlet, growing warm in an increasingly hot sun, letting water lap at bare feet, gazing at the blues of ocean and sky, the litter of shells strewn at tide line is a peaceful, lovely way to start a day. A few walkers I meet have their Ipods in their ears. If I were going to sit a long while on the beach I might like some classical music but I prefer the wash of waves, the cries of gulls, the calls of sandpipers and plovers and the stillness into which those natural sounds punctuate the morning.

I knew Long Beach from visits over the years and when I thought of coming here to live I immediately imagined I would take such walks. Now that I have a car to drive the two miles or so, it is reality - one might say a dream come true.

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