Thursday, February 23, 2017

Beachside surprises

The couple weeks ago when Ralph and I were at the beach, I managed to wake up early enough each morning to bike down to the ocean to see the sunrise.  Although every morning was different - some days windier, some cloudier, some with more or fewer birds - there was one similarity. On each occasion, I noticed the same woman walking with a cane along the shoreline.

The woman - I later learned her name is Charlotte - impressed me. It's not easy to walk on the sand even if you're young and in good shape. But this woman, who I'm guessing was around my age in her 60s, was navigating the ground's soft, uneven surface with quiet determination.

After a couple mornings of crossing paths - me on my recumbent 'fun cycle' and she on slow but steady footsteps - I stopped to say hello.  I had just taken a picture of the sunrise and after reviewing it in my camera, realized I had inadvertently included Charlotte in the picture. I was happy with how the picture came out and thought she might like it too so I stopped to ask if I could email her a copy.

My fellow early riser agreed, gave me her email address and we got to talking. A snowbird whose main home is in Indiana, Charlotte also owns a beachside condo that she visits for the month of February.  When I asked her how far she walks on the beach she indicated a stretch of sand covering about a mile, a good distance to travel, especially with a cane.

Of all the things I like about biking on the beach, unexpected encounters tops the list.  Sometimes it's spotting a new bird, seeing a dolphin, manatee, horseshoe crab or manta ray in the surf or watching a fisherman catch and release a small shark.

I once saw a longhaired banjo player plucking out a tune knee-deep in water, have rescued numerous left-behind 'treasures' in the sand and have collected more pretty shells than I probably need.

But getting to know another early riser, a dedicated individual who, like myself, appreciates the quiet wonders of a beachside sunrise is always a very special gift.


  1. I love your stories and feel like I'm walking with you. You see beauty with all life brings your way. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to pay attention to my day as it unfolds and look for joy in things I too often take for granted.

    1. Fishshe - what a kind comment! Thank you so much! If I had to express one goal of my writing it would be to accomplish just what you experienced: to encourage others to take time - make time - to enjoy the everyday wonders of simply living.