I’ve been watching the tides. I always watch the tides, even when I am not on the water. In the morning, checking the weather, the water temperature, the tides, and the wind are as natural to me as checking my email. Since I started my recovery walking (which is when I replace my early morning sunrise paddle with an early morning sunrise walk and pretend I enjoy it just as much), I’ve walked more than 55 miles on our beach. Most of my walks end in the same spot where the trees have fallen from the cliff and meet the tide, creating an impassable (unless I feel like climbing a tree and going for a wade in 45 degree water) turnaround spot.
But when the tides are very low, a thin stretch of beach appears that connects our community to the town north of us like beads on a string, and one can walk for miles and miles on the shoreline with only a few branches to hop over and some small creeks to jump across.
I’ve been waiting for a super low tide to coincide with my morning walk, and yesterday was the day — bright sunshine, warm morning temperature, and an open stretch of beach from one town to the next. I knew exactly where I wanted to go — to see if my bald eagle, the one who watches me when I paddle and does a single loop overhead every time (whether he is assessing if I am a threat or if I am food, I do not know), was still on his perch.
The walk started out with a gorgeous sunrise.
My footprints were the only ones on the sandbars and stretches of beach that are normally covered with water.
He was there, of course, in the same tree where I knew I would find him. He didn’t fly over me, though — just watched. I must look less tasty on the sand.
As it turns out, he protects more than the cliffs. I found an absolute treasure trove of sea glass on the sand under his watchful eye. I filled my pockets with beautiful colors that are perfect for some of the sea glass crafts I want to do this summer. I had to start a new glass jar just for the glass from yesterday’s walk–and I filled it halfway!
I turned around in the spot where I usually turn on my board — my normal short paddle 3 mile marker. I know the mile markers by heart from the water, and I enjoyed seeing them from the sand. Though I’d rather be paddling, I am grateful I had the opportunity to walk on the full stretch of beach. It’s too far for the kids to walk, and it’s something I just may never have done otherwise.