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Return to the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea

by Brenda K Oswalt

Going back to the ocean can revitalize you and make you feel that all is right with your world.  Try it once and you’ll get hooked.  The sea is nature at her best.

Lemmings Return to the Sea

We are humans and we also need to return to the sea each year.  I can’t go long without thinking about those waves slapping against the sea outside my condo, lulling me to sleep, assuring me that the earth has flopped around on its belly once again and all is right with the world.  I love walking the shores, watching the water birds swooping and the crabs dodging sideways into their holes. Somehow, it makes me feel rejuvenated.  It’s a kind of slow but effective process, this rejuvenation, and it always works.  By the time I’m heading home, I feel like a new person.  All is right in my world once again.

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The perfect excuse to cruise to the sea, of course, is if you come from a really cold, dank and rainy, or snowy, climate.  That’s a great reason to load up the old Buick and hook ‘em for Florida or Mexico or South Padre Island in Texas… anywhere there is warm sun and soft surf.

Loud and cold California won’t do it, though… has to have palm trees warmly waving and a suntanned finger beckoning.  What’s not to love?  If you pass through New Orleans on the way, don’t forget to have that big bowl of “filet gumbo” …it's the best in the world. And, don’t forget the journey is also important, you know.

The Sea is Calling: Walk on the Beach & Poke Things With Sticks

Nothing whispers to me like the sea of Southwest Florida, with her enticingly curved coastal beaches, encouraging me to wander along her white sandy shores.  I found a sand dollar this year, and without realizing it, I looked closely to be sure there was no “fuzz” on it.  A live sand dollar is brown and fuzzy, but a dead one is flat like its namesake the “dollar.”  Sand dollars are actually sea creatures… something between a sea urchin and a starfish.  The holes in the sand dollar are where it takes in plankton to feed off.

Sanibel Island is the largest shelling island in North America. If you go there, take a net bag for your treasures. And, here’s a little trick I learned as a child: Find a local anthill to turn your shells upside down over. The ants will get rid of any unwanted occupants of the conch and fan-shell varieties.

By the Beautiful Economical Sea

When planning a vacation by the sea, some people say, “I can’t afford it,” but others say, “We should afford it.”  Coming back to the sea once a year is like getting a vaccination. The ocean protects and fortifies you and somehow brings you back to center point.  So many things happen throughout the year, but the sea is ever and never changing at the same time.  Falling asleep with the gentle slap of the lapping waves against the shore, or the thundering crash of the surf during “storm time,” is both gentle and relaxing.

real estate in ft myers beachYour vacation doesn’t have to be expensive.  Haul your trailer and plug it into a park that’s near the sea.  Rent a small, but clean and affordable, little condo and cook.  Make sandwiches and have picnics. You don’t have to eat all your meals out.  After all, Publix supermarkets are everywhere in the South. The point is to make it happen.  Plan for your visit throughout the year if you need to, but I promise you, you will draw interest throughout the forthcoming year. It will be money well spent.

Beautiful Birds of Southwest Florida

On this, our most recent seaside trip, we saw a Rosy Spoonbill that had about 28 ardent photographers practically tripping over themselves to film her.  We learned of a live cam atop a 60-foot slash pine just up the road.  This live camera captured the birth and feeding saga of two bald eagles’ little eaglets.  Ozzie and Harriet were the parents’ names, and the two hatchlings were appropriately dubbed Hope and Honor.  It was amazing to see the parents taking turns feeding them.  Some days the babies dined on fish, other menus included rabbit, squirrel and a few unrecognizable rodents.  Ospreys, ibis, storks, cormorants, pelicans, gulls, sandpipers and dippers are some of the cheerful water birds that will surely greet you. We had daily fly-bys of Peregrine Falcons, also.

Sunsets Are Good for What Ails Ya’

Part of the irresistible lure of the open bodies of water facing west could be the nightly majestic view of the gigantic orange ball disappearing into the sea. My husband and I look at the sun and say, “twenty minutes or so.”  Then, we secure our glasses of wine and position ourselves on the balcony to salute this, our day, the civilized way.

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The sea envelopes the sun and is still there, its tides manipulated by the ever-present nightly moon, as the earth once again flops over on its belly. To commemorate this, our next-door neighbors meet on the ground-floor open lobby to “toot their horns”… in this case, their Hawaiian conch-shell horns.  And, every Saturday night they invite all the neighbors for potluck.

There is just something about getting close to the sea and staring out onto the horizon.  Just imagine the untold miles of open water between you and the next chunk of land and think about the Trade Winds that blew our ancestors to this shore.

The Sea Is Part of all of Us

Your body is made up of 50 to 65% water. That’s about 45 quarts!  Water is essential to human life and is involved, or is a co-factor, in virtually every bodily process.  The sea is an extension of you.

Large bodies of water just make you “feel good” to be around them.  Saltwater has been shown to have positive effects on the nasal and respiratory system in general.  It’s good for a body to return to the source once in a while.

So enjoy your next trip to the beach. Hopefully, you will make it an annual celebration. The ocean’s a magnificent treasure there for all to partake of.  Discover it again and get back in touch with your soul.  It’s sure to recharge your batteries for the forthcoming months.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Retire in Two Places and Double Your Retirement Pleasure

Where Is the Most Perfect Place to Live?

Baby Boomers Want to Retire in Southwest Florida


  • Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism; Sareen S. Gropper, Jack L. Smith and James L. Groff; 2008
  • Understanding Pathophysiology; Sue E. Huether and Kathryn L. McCance; 2000
  • Bald Eagle Live Stream  

Brenda Oswalt is a French-trained cook, writer, businesswoman and inventor who holds several medical patents.

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  1. Tina


    Now all I can think about is getting to the sea. I live in one of those cold, dank and rainy places (with occasional snow). I used to live in Hawaii and I felt more alive there than any other place I've ever lived. And, it's probably because I went to the beach everyday, rain or shine.

    I agree with you about California. I like Northern California beaches, but they're cold. I like SoCal beaches, but they're crowded and expensive.

    Well, I guess I'll just take another aspirin for my arthritis and think about you and Jim soaking up the Florida sunshine or clinking your wine glasses as you toast another glorious sunset. Someday, Baby. Someday.

  2. Ruth Harris

    Another Beech Nut here. The most magical beach moment I ever had was on a deserted Malaysian beach at sunset. I was alone, I thought, when three women in long pink caftans appeared at the end of the beach to my left. They moved slowly but purposefully and the breeze blew their caftans into rippling pink abstractions. Silhouetted against the setting sun & darkening sky, they made their way along the beach and disappeared as silently and mysteriously as they had appeared.

  3. Tina


    That sounds like a dream. What a fabulous way to end your day.

  4. Brenda Oswalt

    Yes, Tina and Ruth, the sea does have magical healing properties. I love where we live in the hill country of Texas but quite honestly, I do need to visit the sea to refresh myself at least yearly. There's nothing quite like it. I pick up shells and wonder where they started out and how they ended up washed ashore under my feet. I truly think it feeds the imagination and creativity centers of our bodies.