• Karen Heckman Stork

The Excitement of Discovery

“Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing is so exciting as actually experiencing something you’ve wished for and dreamed about for years. Everyone must have that dream — about that special place you’ve always wanted to go or that special endeavor you’ve always wanted to accomplish. These sorts of goals or dreams don’t stop just because we’re all growing older.

By now most of you know that one of my life-long dreams has been to live close to the beach as well as reconnect with my daughter (now that her children and my grandchildren have grown up). Well, I took a leap of faith, hoped for the best and actually did it. I figured out what might be the worst possible outcome of this giant change in my life; and finding that fall-back position gave me the last bit of courage I needed to move forward.

So far my move to Wilmington, NC has led to many fascinating discoveries and new ways to live. Following are some of my favorite new activities in this beach community, and they’re rapidly becoming habits in my day-to-day routine.,

First, of course, is walking barefoot on the beach. I recently read that it’s actually healthy to walk barefoot in nature, to actually make contact with the earth beneath your feet. This information gave me additional incentive to make barefoot beach-walking a part of my daily routine. With a goal of spending 30 minutes every day (or as often as possible), I commune with God and Mother Nature, and I am constantly mesmerized by the mercurial beauty of the sea.

Another favorite activity is discovering extraordinary sea shells and sea glass. It’s important to get out early and preferably just after a high tide to see what treasures the munificent ocean has left for us lucky finders on the beach. And when I get too tired of walking or searching, I will bring my beach chair down to the edge of the water and just sit and relax as the misty splash of ocean waves break over and then retreat from my acquiescent limbs. If it weren’t for the danger of too much sun exposure, I would sit seaside for hours on end.

The above discoveries, of course, all involve my love of the beach and ocean. In my new “close to the beach” environment, I absolutely love providing a home base for family and friends to come visit and experience the “beachy” activities that I love. Having been shown how to be a gracious hostess by Marv’s daughter, I’m learning to make my spare bedroom as welcoming as possible with toiletries, special culinary desires, warm and fuzzy bathroom necessities, and any special needs a guest might have. Just think of my new home as your special beach hotel without the beach hotel prices!

So don’t wait. Come and visit me and experience the bliss that is the beach.

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