Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Standards of My Life

It is such a glorious day. When I was young and we would have a day such as this I would be overwhelmed with the joy of my ability to use my legs. I would walk to the beach and then I would walk for hours on the strand. I loved walking and I loved people watching. There is no better place to combine the two then to walk on The Strand.

The Strand is a stip of concrete that has been laid through the beach sand. The Strand runs for miles connecting all of the beach cities. It is wide enough to accommodate the bicyclists, skaters, skateboarders, joggers, and those that just love to stroll. As you leave one beach city and enter another The Strand and it's users change. There is the working class, the affluent, the hip, the high, and the gay. Each city offers it's own particular experience and history. I have spent hours of my life walking The Strand.

I love the immensity of the ocean, the smell of sea life, the feel of the sun, the laughter of children as they kick sand at one another, the giggles of teenage girls as they whisper secrets, the strutting of young boys testing promised manhood, the agility of college age people playing volleyball, the beauty of the kites soaring in the overhead breezes, and the wisdom on the faces of the the older generation that sit under their umbrellas.

In my teen years I would walk The Strand with my friends and flirt with all the young boys walking in the opposite direction. In my twenties I would walk The Strand holding a basket containing lunch for my husband and son. In my thirties I walked The Strand to overcome the confusion of a divorce and entrance into a world I didn't fully understand. In my forties I walked The Strand with peace and confidence. In my fifties I have not been able to walk The Strand.

The doctor's say that maybe if I hadn't walked so much when I was younger I might be able to walk now. Not walk The Strand for miles? It's unthinkable that I could have lived without a strand to walk my life on. It has given me peace, serenity, beauty, excitement, and understanding.

It is such a glorious day I am going to take my wheelchair down to The Strand. I might even wheel for miles!

January's Artsy Essay

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