Walking on the Beach


Beach walking is special. No matter the season or weather, walking on damp sand nearest the curl of waves spells magic. Come to it in early summer and see the sea turtle nests numbered and marked. Arrive in August and watch the children cavort like fish in the surf. Marvel as the moon swinging low over an October horizon or trudge against a brisk winter wind, alone except for sea-birds that skim an icy sea.

I’ve tried so many times to capture the many moods of the ocean. Mumbling haiku, I’ve stopped to watch the dolphins leap, or snapped photographs or attempted water colors… not with much success, mind you, for the ocean has many moods. Kind and playful one moment, it can morph into a ferocious force that topples buildings and devours lives and dreams.

For me beaches are most wonderful when I can shuck the sneakers and socks and go wading. I’ve done this even in February when the water stings and numb, but I much prefer April, when wading is pure heaven. This morning I stood shin-deep in water and felt a thousand tiny coquinas, all intent on riding the waves, flow between my toes.

Busy coquinas

ride even the highest wave…

brave  adventurers!

I felt for those coquinas. I mean, there they were, digging themselves furiously into the sand, all business as usual, while a few feet away sandpipers were waiting to use their long, sharp beaks to get breakfast. At the beach, the circle of life often rests on the timing of a wave!

Have you listened to waves? I have, and it seems as if each one has a different story or a song to sing that is as old as time itself. Doubtless this is magic, for that magic  draws me back, time and again, to walk along the beach.

Afternoon’s high tide

Fans waves across still-cool sands…

Age-old ritual.


About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

6 responses »

  1. Maureen,

    On an upcoming blog post, will you consider sharing some haiku tips and guiding us along? Your poetry is lovely.

    Linda A.

  2. hi maureen,
    here it is july and i went back to the maureen bookmark and this blog came up. one i had not read previously. with Jen inJamaica right now. and so busy each day is filled to the brim with work. i am sending her a reminder to check back to this blog you wrote. all of us who have shared that walk with you from our little group remember the feeling. another day to realize the beauty of the walk on the beach. Jen taught yoga with her friend sonja last evening. that is a way she gets to slow down after a long day of dealing with people and clients at the office.

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