Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22, 2015 - The Cold Beach


Don’t let the sunlight fool you.  The days of lying on the beach are over.  For me, they never began because I only rock climb when I go to beaches.  From now until April or May, the beaches in Maine are only for brave people, that is, people who don’t mind the cold.

The cold beach.

There is always a tremendous and constant wind blowing, and with no wind break in sight, you can imagine the cold.  And this is only November.  The trick is to wear at least a few layers of thin clothing and then a coat over them if you wish.  When nature insulates things, she does not use thick substances.  She uses the thinnest substance of all:  air.  It’s the secret of the birds.  They have their little “down” feathers that trap in their body heat.  Any heat that escapes gets trapped between the small feathers and a layer of larger feathers.  Birds can also “puff up” their feathers and create even more pockets of warm air.  Add a layer of oil to the feathers, and they are waterproof as well.  And voilĂ !  Warmth and coziness.

If you can be a bird, you can go to the beach in Maine in the winter.  You can see the kind of waves you will never see in the summer, crashing and magnificent.  You can be refreshed with startlingly crisp, cold air.  You can be renewed with a true sense of freedom and open space.  You can feed your inner hermit with the brazen solitude the cold enforces.  You can reconnect with the cycles of the tides and the patterns of the beach animals and birds.  You can worship the sun in a way you never thought possible.  You can escape the din that is man.

That’s the true beauty of the beach in the cold weather, of course.  Escaping man.

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