From my journal: yesterday's entry:
"I parked at the beach (in the early evening) and ended up walking along it alone.
I wanted to drink in what was around me to the full so
I sat down on a dune and practised ONLY hearing.
Then ONLY feeling.
Then ONLY seeing: noticing each thing, one by one.
It was lovely."
So brief. Too brief. Far too brief.
Sounds almost detached
So I want to record some detail here for myself because when I read it now, it all comes back more vividly than seems possible.
The hearing: (I closed my eyes for this one)
Overridingly, the rhythm of the waves, soft roar, hiss, slide: soft roar, hiss and slide.
Then the sound of the ocean; subtly different from the waves.
A sort of living sound.
Dogs barking; calls across the sea from one paddle skier to others; soft snatches of conversation between the beach strollers as they pass me; calls of dog owners to their pets; the shouts of the instructors of the trainee life savers; train passing; bird calls . .
The feeling: (also closed eyes - its amazing what a "bully" sight is. If you don't shut it out, it overrides all other senses)
The best is the warm soft stroke of the breeze on my skin
I tune everything else out
And for what seems ages, just enjoy that.
At last I let in the wonder of the warmth of the late afternoon sun on my right shoulder
The sense of time passing fades away when you do this, I've discovered.
The cooling sand under my bare feet
The tickle of my hair blowing into my face
The surprise that sand can actually feel quite hard under your bottom if you've been sitting a while.
I am not going to list all those.
There were a LOT.
But this is what I did, kind of as an exercise, an experiment -
After a had marvelled for a while at the whole picture that was spread so lavishly before me
I looked at one thing at a time.
And held that thing in view, just for that time.
I suppose its a bit the same as when people talk about "being fully present"
This was a "fully presentness" in seeing.
It was like holding each thing in the cupped hands of my vision, treasuring it alone for a time.
I think I was a bit changed by my solo visit to the beach yesterday.
PS: I didnt have a camera. That would have killed the whole thing. These are courtesy of Google.