Updated: Feb 13
By Bob Deakin
I’ve been putting it off for a couple months, but it’s been too long. Now I’m better.
Here in central Florida, I’m an hour away from the east coast (Atlantic Ocean), so I don’t have a good excuse not to go. Whenever I do, I always think I’m going to stay for an hour, get my fill of sun and waves, then head back.
It never works out that way. I get there early, then four hours later I’m still there.
I usually run four miles barefoot on the beach, which is like running six miles on grass or pavement in shoes. There’s a fine line I must be aware of when blisters develop on the bottom of my feet. It always happens, but if I end the run at the right time, the blisters are harmless, almost like calluses.
That’s just the beginning. I always start with the run, that way I’m worn out and loosened up to enjoy the aimless walking even more. I never bring a towel or set up and stay in one place when I’m by myself. It’s too much fun to roam. Every five minutes I spot something else that I want to zone out on: birds, plants, fish, crabs, airplanes, kiteboarders.
The longer I wander the beach the more fun I have and the more I wonder why I don’t come more often. That’s how I end up with a four-hour stay and an entire day gone by the time I stop for gas, shop, and eventually get back home.
I practice a casual form of meditation, which means I don’t hold the classic pose, chant, or do anything that would lead you to believe I’m meditating. But I do - mainly to quiet the mind - and it works for me. I don’t spend much time on it.
At the beach, however, I enter the twilight zone of mediation. I can sit comfortably in soft sand wherever I am, and the crashing waves are the perfect soundtrack to blocking out distractions. I can close my eyes or open them and either way I’m at peace. Ten minutes later and I’m a new man: at peace in mind and body.
This past week I visited Canaveral National Seashore, which is as close as you can get to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Station. I first made the mistake of using my GPS and heading for Titusville Beach, which is within the confines of NASA property. Wrong move.
I came to the end of the NASA Parkway and abruptly came to a halt at the gatehouse. The military personnel were ready for me and turned me around as quickly as my car could turn. They gave me a nice police escort back out a mile before setting me free again.
I have the feeling they are still running a complete background check on me.
Okay, I say to myself. I guess I was a little too far south. Let’s head north.
And so I did, hence my visit to Canaveral National Seashore. It took a while, and you drive a long time to get there, but it’s beautiful the entire way and worth the trip. 80 degrees and sunny in January.
I finally make it and begin my journey to peace. I found it. And I’m better for it. Now I can sit in front of a computer all week again.
Life is good.