Many approach walking as exercise, however there are still many who walk for their souls and their body tags along. It is a form of meditation, shifting from overdrive into soft time, quieting the chatter in the head, solving problems – taking long strides, concentrating on the slow, steady rhythm of breathing, comforted by interior silence. Looking and listening – letting go of expectations and life unfolds. Step by step.
Walking the beach is a bit different. You walk to find a treasure, to exercise the limbs, and soothe the soul. To marvel at the birds that play against the sky and clouds. To watch the waves. To simply smell the salt air, to feel the sun and wind against your face, and to run from the foam grasping for your feet. To think and reflect. And no matter how far apart your visits might measure, you are always free to renew an old acquaintance with yourself.
There are those who diligently comb the beach for agates, jasper, arrowheads, special rocks, driftwood, shells, and beach glass. They walk the beach with their heads down. They can’t help themselves. They are collectors.
Many beaches in the islands are highly promoted and/or visible. Some are not. Good examples of the latter are Deadman Bay on San Juan Island, Judd Cove on Orcas, and Watmough Bay on Lopez. Get a map. Check them out!