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Get Out There!

A beautiful day for a walk

A 70-degree March day is a terrible thing to waste. So yesterday, after church and lunch, we laced up our sneakers and joined some newly made friends for a leisurely walk through the old railway trails. Hubby and I brought our pocket-sized cameras because . . . that’s just what we do. One member of our party is studying herbs and our walk was punctuated with lessons about the healing properties of the plants that we take for granted. Hubby was brave enough to try a bite-sized Nasturtium salad, picked along the trail. We sucked on honeysuckles and heard about which plants help lower high blood pressure, heal wounds, ease “female complaints”, and ah-hem, strengthen that certain muscle so men ‘perform’ better. Move over, Viagra; this stuff grows wild and free out here!

By the time we reached the road, we could already see the blue-green ocean in the distance. I never get tired of marvelling at the ocean. When people ask me how far from the beach do you live? I am tempted to answer, “What do you mean?” or “What kind of question is that?” After all, we’re only 21 miles long and approximately 1 mile wide–at the widest point. If the surf is rough enough, I can smell it from my yard and my kitchen windows get the salt spray!

On the trail down to the beach, we got sandwiched in by two separate horseback riding groups, but with a little courtesy, there’s plenty of room for bipeds and four-legged beasts to pass. And then the ocean–showing off its blue and green, crystal clear beauty. A few people were actually in the water, but for the most part, it’s not truly beach season yet. Some residents will start flocking to the beach on the unofficial start of the season, May 24 (a public holiday), but if anyone is still like me and the old timers, we won’t consider going to the beach for swimming “until the sun crosses the line”, after June 21. How’s that for a crazy, local tradition? By then the heat is driving me either to stay indoors where the fan keeps me cool, or to the ocean for temporary, wet relief.
A small group of people were relaxing after SUP’ing. Okay, so this one is new on me. I had to ask the guy who came to retrieve his curious Parson Russell/terrier mix what it’s about. Stand up paddle surfing (SUP) is a sport I knew nothing of and had no problem peppering him with questions, not that I’m likely to ever try it. Apparently, yesterday was a perfect day for it, because the waters on the South Shore were calm. There’s a picture of their boards somewhere in the collage. Perhaps sometime I’ll see them in action.

Further down the beach things got a bit surreal, due to the rock and sand formations that took on eerie shapes after erosion caused by hurricane damage, some of which still remained as gigantic rubble. The environment looked foreign, especially the portion of the beach where the Government is fortifying the cliff face with a massive stone wall. The scenery reminded me of the last scene of “The Planet of the Apes”—you know, the first one, way back when Charlton Heston finds the Statue of Liberty lying on its side in post-apocalyptic Earth.

By this time, I started to think about what would have been really great on this walk—water! We still have our “Mount Kilimanjaro” to face, a steep hill that’s torturous to walk but offers a wonderful overland view of the area at the top. When we reached top, I was too proud to admit I was exhausted, but if that “Attack Cat” a sign warned of had shown up, I would have been a goner.


Today’s less strenuous activities include sitting in the back yard sorting through yesterday’s pictures for the collage (above) and listening to the songs of nature. Birds that sing, bees that buzz and the boys in the trees picking loquats. The trees are bursting with the oval-shaped fruit waiting to be picked and enjoyed. Unfortunately, a perfect bunch is just above my head—far out of reach. Too bad. I’ll let the birds have them.

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