Tower Beach

It’s one thing to talk about it; it’s another to do it. Such was my posture this morning as I arose from beneath the covers. Yesterday’s talk about the beach was today’s reality. The two objectives – the beach and a swim in the sea – were at hand.

In humans, posture can provide a significant amount of important information through nonverbal communication. Psychological studies have also demonstrated the effects of body posture on emotions. This research can be traced back to Charles Darwin’s studies of emotion and movement in humans and animals. Currently, many studies have shown that certain patterns of body movements are indicative of specific emotions. Researchers studied sign language and found that even non-sign language users can determine emotions from only hand movements. Another example is the fact that anger is characterized by forward whole body movement. The theories that guide research in this field are the self-validation or perception theory and the embodied emotion theory.

I was interrupted in the pursuit of my deliberation.  It was April 1st and my electronic calendar had a reminder to file tax documents from our financial advisor with the accountant. Though it sounds a simple task it required work and attention. Downloading the information was the first necessity. Then saving it to permit easy reference – basically making an adequate filing system. And finally exporting the material to the accountant’s portal.  All of which required a deftness to “access” the original material, the filing cabinet and the portal, each with separate passwords.  I am positive there was a more expedient way to have done it but I chose to proceed one step at a time (as is my wont) to preserve my composure and acuity in the process.

In the result my morning ambition – not to mention the car wash – was rendered aside by an unanticipated delay.

It was no long afterwards that I was back in gear, cutting up a Honey Crisp apple and spooning steel cut oats as though by rote. By 10:30 am I was headed to the bike rack, beach towel in hand.

My cycling sojourn took me through the shaded pathway from Lighthouse Road to South Sea Pines Drive and finally Tower Beach.  Tower Beach is precisely at the “toe” or southern end of Hilton Head Island.  I mention this because the curved geography (adjacent Calibogue Sound) foments unique swirls and other characterisitics of the North Atlantic Ocean as the tides come crashing in towards Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie Island. Critically for me the depth of the sea deepens more precipitously here than along the northeastern boundary of the shore.  Instead of having to walk out a considerable distance upon the ocean floor to get enough depth for swimming, the facility is within easy reach.  There is however a noticeable undertow.  I swam parallel the shoreline against the undertow and allowed it to propel me backwards in line with my bicyle nearby on the beach.

My dip into the sea was not instantaneous upon my arrival at the beach. I lingered close by the boardwalk against the dunes for an hour gathering the radiating heat. And gathering my chutzpah for the swim.

Even after my first swim I couldn’t resist laying on the beach again, this time further along the shore. I found a secluded area near the dunes and partially sheltered from the southwesterly wind which afforded a pleasant breeze but stirred up the powdered white sand. Indeed I was afterwards laden with particles of the powder.

In my second swim in the Ocean the waves were stronger.  The water was clouded by the turbulence; it was impossible to see underwater. But the salinity soothed my sunburned skin and cleared my eyes.

The climax of today’s little event by the sea was the accomplishment of its simple purpose. Like most adventures the achievement is less a challenge than initially anticipated. Nonetheless getting past the obstruction is relieving.  Nor was it only the temperature of the water. Making a production of sunbathing on the beach also required calculation. This is especially so at 73 years of age when most others would likely be otherwise inclined – though doing what I am uncertain.