Sand and sweatshirts: the beach in winter

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 4, 2013

The ocean waves moving timelessly onto the white sandy beach in what seems to be an endless rhythm. The seagulls flying, diving and searching the white foam from the breaking ocean waves for food. The cold salty air filling your nostrils and opening your sinuses. The smell of the sea, the sounds of the waves breaking and the birds squawking, and in the distance, pelicans dive for food over a school of fish.
I had never experienced any of these stimulating senses until this winter. I had never been to the sea in the winter.
The air is clearer and crisper over the deserted beach. There are no crowds on the beach with their umbrellas. No airplanes flying overhead pulling signs with advertisements. Most souvenir shops are closed. Swimsuits are replaced by sweatshirts.
The winter is a time to relax and listen, and see, and smell the ocean. Sit quietly and soak in the view or meditate into a spiritual trance. Bundle up and chase the winter blahs away.
One brave man wearing a heavy sweatshirt, long pants and shoes and socks spends most of the afternoon on the deserted beach reading a book. He was transformed into his own special world of peacefulness. A couple of young boys took time to dig in the sand looking for shells or just digging for the sake of digging. Up the beach a man and young boy create the biggest commotion of the day by tossing bread into the air for the gulls.
The winter colors of the sea oats, growing on the sand dune, swaying in the cold wind, glow in the afternoon sun. The brown sea oats have become red in the late afternoon sun, where only a few feet away the cold bluish footprint-laden sand looks so uninviting and shivery to the skin.
The cold empty porch furniture seems so cold, even in the afternoon sun. The brightly painted, warm orange building reflects the dark shadows from the railing. The sun-kissed colors seem to be trying to trick me into thinking of their warmth.
Stay clear, stay warm, relax, meditate, stimulate all your senses. The beach is wonderful in the winter.