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Beachcombing Your Cares Away
By J. D. Adams

To relieve stress in today's increasingly artificial world, the best activities are basic ones from our ancestral past. Walking, jogging, swimming, or constructive hobbies pleasantly engage fundamental areas of the brain that quietly lay behind everything that we do. Without this gentle exercise and stimulation, stress hormones are created that will undermine our health and weaken the immune system. I suspect any competent doctor could tell you this, after charging you $200.00 and trying to get you hooked on new-age drugs that have side effects worse than stress symptoms. Many of you also intuitively understand the value of a walk in the park but have told yourself you don't have the time. We must make the time to stop and smell the roses, if we are to remain intact as the vital persons our families have grown to love and respect. These pastimes need not be solitary, as light social interaction will also relieve stress. I believe the most relaxing activities are the most primeval. And it is even better if they are done in combination, such as walking and searching the shoreline in the carefree art of beachcombing.

Yes, beachcombing. The object of daydreams as we look out the office window. Remember the pull of the surf on the sand beneath your feet and its rhythmic pulse like a motherís heartbeat. The senses are filled with the primordial force of the sea. It overwhelms us with sensuous antiquity. Beachcombing recalls instincts rising like the tide in the hinterland of memory. We are cleansed and become consummate in our humanity. Wandering footprints on the beach are timeless reflections from the past, of a dawn from which we have descended to gather sustenance amid the rocks and pools. Iridescent seashells are collected in the tide line, fascinating us with the precision of organic artistry. Be enthralled with the variety of materials that have traveled around the world to lie before you, from the exotic to the mundane. How often have we looked up from an intriguing find, to wonder what other treasures float on the deep sapphire of the sea? The mysteries of the Orient lay half hidden in the sand, whispering with a windswept voice strangely familiar, like a dream that calls your name. Glass floats hide amongst the seaweed as rare gifts from another world. Walking onward, dark gems roll entrancingly in the surf, tossed with the silver grain of driftwood, evocative in its mystic forms. Bits and pieces of all that dare ply the sea repose in quiet testimony to its awesome power. Hand in hand, listening to the symphony of the surf, we are enveloped in its spell. Even on a busy day it is as if we are alone. The laughing children with their sandcastles and the kites that spin color against the sky are merely a backdrop to this afternoon, as we beachcomb on the Oregon coast. Wrap the warm remembrance around you and take it home.


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