A Winter Walk at the Beach

beach benchI sit a lot, don’t you? And now, with winter cold and my aging dog, I move even less. For 14 years, Tetley has enthusiastically forced me up and out a few times a day. Alas, he is fading. The days of him pulling me the long route up hills for a real work-out, are over. Now I can barely cajole him half a block. I anticipate heartbreak ahead…


But enough of that – it’s just that Tetley is content to sleep and last Sunday, I too could have lolled on the couch with the newspapers all day.

But I needed a good walk – to move my bones and get my heart pumping — ¬†hours of sitting at work, at home, in the car, makes my hips ache. Although I love moving through the world by foot, on a wintery day when I don’t have to do anything, I’m often content to never step over the threshold. But look…

beach sandTen minutes drive from my house, I get to walk here!

Unlike this frigid weekend, last Sunday was balmy for February, the light squinting-bright. I walked alone, breathing and thinking and enjoying the crunch of snow, sand and the squish of mud underfoot. I walked down to the shoreline so I could hear the lapping waves. I passed fewer than 20 other walkers. We greeted each other with bright smiles as if we’d landed in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory together – a shared glee at being here on a February day.

sunny viewFilling my lungs with the cold sea air and the light, oh the changing light! Why am I not up at 5:30 every morning to walk briskly around this sweet course, breathing deeply, absorbing the beauty and peace in this city where I landed by accident, 20 years ago? Or at least at 5:30 PM when I’m done with work and catch a sunset while I’m at it. I should do that.

trees beachSometimes I think about venturing back out into the wide-world again, to find a warmer, less expensive life maybe? Maybe. Then I recall that when I wandered the globe I longed for a place. On this Sunday walk, with a surge of joy, a breath of cold winter air, an earful of seagull screams, I recognize РI am here. And for now, it sure will do.

Where do you walk?

14 thoughts on “A Winter Walk at the Beach”

  1. I walk a lot at work. Many nights I log about 2.5 miles according to my iPhone’s app but it doesn’t count. The air is industrialized, the environment cold even on the warmest nights. Work walks might pay the bills, but fails to satisfy my soul. It isn’t a walk that clears the mind, just my employer’s docks of issues.

    The walks that cleanse the mind, brighten the soul are those walks in nature with the ones I love. One lives in fur and the other carries my heart in her hands. The environment is warm, although the air could be brisk or heavy with humidity. Regardless of where we walk, no matter the distance, the time evaporates the stresses, removes the kinks in the soul and strengthens the heart physically and spiritually.

  2. Lovely piece, tricia……I “should” all over myself too….all the things I know I should make the time for…..hard to do sometimes!! Xo

  3. Such a sweet photo of Tetley! I also love the photos by the water — wintery beauty in them. My dog Leo and I take a daily walk up the hill of our street — it’s not a terribly long walk but it typically takes a while, since Leo insists on stopping and sniffing everything around. Our walk is truly an unhurried and relaxing part of my day.

  4. This is a charming post, Tricia, like all of yours I’ve read. Walking is so crucial for clearing the mind, finding perspective, getting away from screens, and refreshing the soul. I love to walk my Sasha in our neighborhood. We check out the houses and gardens – what’s been added, how the trees are growing, the progress of flower buds, where the birds are nesting, etc. A lovely time we have together most afternoons.
    P.S. Having only read about Tetley, I love that little guy!

  5. Thanks! I love that you read them. And thank you for loving Tetley — I fear I’ll be heartbroken very, very soon. But we’ve all had a good life together.

  6. Leo – that’s a great dog name. I’d love to see him. I’ll have to search your posts for a pic.

  7. I was going to leave you a picture of where I walk but I don’t think I can here in the comment section. I walk on our country road. Sometimes I go up the hill and look at the cows with my dog. I am beginning to think I should take my horses for walks, but sometimes there’s drama and to be honest I’m enjoying being off from riding this winter, so I can get inside stuff done.

    I hear you on Tetley’s being 14 and time getting short. Something about old dogs is sweet, their sleeping and going so far away in their sleep. But they are also hard work. What adventures you two had over those years! What a great home you provided. I hope you’re able to open your heart to another dog before Tetley goes too because the house can be too quiet. And it might give Tetley a new spring in his step. I look forward to reading your blogs.

  8. Oh Katie! It’s too late. Tetley died this morning. I’m devastated, of course. But he went at home and peacefully – what I hoped. Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful reads and comments. xxx

  9. Oh dear, I am so very sorry to hear this. Well, sending along a hug and some tears. I know how this feels. What a great home you gave Tetley. He was fortunate to know you and you to know him.

  10. Oh Tricia, I’m so sorry to read in the comments about Tetley. What a precious photo of him above. I’ve enjoyed catching up with your posts–seeing and reading about your house and the lovely walk you have nearby. My favorite time to walk is dusk. I like it as a break between the work day and the evening. Perhaps a Fitbit would be some inspiration for you–it helps get me out the door…

  11. Oh dear Tetley! What an adorable guy! This was a wonderful piece, a vicarious winter walk at the beach. Dave and I have been forcing ourselves to take more advantage of where we live too. Recently, we went snow-shoeing in Huntington State Park, 15 minutes from our house but we’d been there only once, years ago. Last week, we hiked (sounds so much more interesting than “walked”) at the Cascades Preserve in Fairfield, 107 lovely acres of ponds, tumbling water, and ledges, 5 minutes from our house, yet we only discovered it two years ago. We always wish we could travel more, and then we realize there is much that is gorgeous and novel right around the corner. Your closing line is perfect…some of good living is just paying attention and being where you are. XXOO

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