Sunday, January 25, 2015


Walked on Englewood Beach, Florida, this sunny morning. after stormy weather the day before.

Stormy Day
Cool. So I slipped into a light, long-sleeved sweatshirt and leggings. Windy, just enough to blow the waves in with some gusto. I get such a charge walking the beach alone. It's kind of primitive, walking a sea-foam seam between solid earth and big big ocean. Humbling humbling humbling.

To the  west the water blends into sky, I think: Ya' know it's really kind of scary. If I swam out there far enough, I'd have two choices . . . or maybe one, depending on the sequence of events: 1) Drown; and/or 2) Get eaten by something very large and  with razor sharp teeth. I shiver and dig my toes into the sand, a quick reminder that I'm safe on shore.

On my walk, I pass other people or people stopped and bent over, bums in the air, concentrating on the newly washed up shells. Sandpipers skitter along on those precious skinny little legs, running into the surf, then dashing back from the waves.

Bums in the Air - Lookin for Treasures

Fishermen with canvas chairs and roller bags that no doubt hold their gear and snacks. One tall and elegant egret stands by a fisherman's bag, impatiently putting his weight on one leg and then the other. I can read the bird's mind: Okay, fisher-guy, either pull me in a fish, or bring out the snacks. I walk to within a few feet of the egret, both of us eyeing each other up and down, He cocks his head and looks at me with one scary bile-green eye, probably thinking I looked pretty darn scary, too.

Note the Fisherman to the right

A Dog's Life

A man and his wife sit in lounge chairs, taking in the morning sun and breeze. A poodle sits in the man's lap, his head nodding occasionally to give the dog an affectionate kiss. Love men who are in tune to their effeminate side. A bit farther down the beach an older couple hold hands, looking straight ahead, no doubt remembering a time gone by, when they were young and didn't need medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, or...Viagra.

Kids know how to have FUN
Three older kids dash out of a condo, flinging arms and legs in the air, their coltish bodies jumping into the waves, oblivious to the cold water.

Leaving my footprints on the beach 

At least twenty seagulls float down to the sand and huddle up like a football team, making a game plan for daily handouts from the silly snow birds, funny faced and making baby-bird talk. The birds saying to each other, "Okay, guys, we gotta do what we gotta do," Act cute for food.

The sand is cool, tickles my bare feet. Each step, my heels dig in and sink, in the best Dr. Scholl-fits-every-foot-problem sort of way. My toes go wild, giddy with the freedom of no shoes. At 65, I don't judge my empty-headed beach state of mind. 

Happiness is where you come face-to-face with something bigger than you are, a place where your soul intuitively absorbs all things. 

On the beach, there is anonymity, no age, no judgment, no politics, no Kim Kardashian drama (at least on this baby-boomer beach), no doomsday news that scares the hell of you. "Yes. Yes," I sigh. taking in a "namaste" breath. Ahhhh. Peace.

Find Sherry Hartzler's books on 
Three Moons Over Sedona
Island Passage
Chasing Joe


  1. Oh so wish I were there with you this second gathering shells and breathing deeply that sea air. The freshness, the sunshine, the free spirit. Instead I'm inside with a headache looking out at the gray day, planning for an overnight snow that may give us several inches of white stuff with more ice and cold. Yay you for getting out of here for a nice reprieve. Love the photos. Happy you are enjoying. Hugs from the North.

  2. There's nothing like people watching no matter where you are--a beach, airport, shopping mall, just about anywhere. There's lots of stories walking around out there. Be glad your in Florida, we've got snow here, but January is about over. One major winter month out of the way!