This winter has been exceptionally cold and yet we have still made it outdoors; immersing ourselves in the cycles and lessons that nature has to offer. A beach offers its own stark beauty during this quiet time of year. Since I am not a great fan of hot, humid weather or sitting around baking on the sandy shores, you will not find me at the beach in summer. I prefer walking along the water’s edge in solitude; tuning in to the sights and sounds of the quieter season. Consequently, I chose this last weekend in January to visit Cedar Beach on the north shore of Long Island.
I had waited until Sunday to make this trip since Saturday had come in with cold temperatures and strong winds. On this morning, the temperature was approaching 14 but the winds still held steady at around 20 mph. As I approached the beach, I noticed the edge of the harbor side was frozen. There were a few breaks where the water was visible through the thin ice, while last week’s snow still covered the grass along the road.
The beach itself was deserted. No one ventured out to sit on the empty bench and gaze out over the Long Island Sound. There were white-caps on the usually calm water, as the wind pushed the waves towards the shore. The grey gulls were stalled in place, trying to make headway against the turbulent air.
In this climate, I ventured out to walk along the shore. I found it amusing, that I could determine the direction of the breeze based on the small, delicate snow trails spreading out behind the stones. I thought maybe these little signs were a warning pointing me back towards my car.
During my autumnal strolls along the beach, I have always complained about how difficult it is to walk in sand. That was not a problem during this visit. Even the sand was frozen underfoot, providing a firm surface for my ramble along the shore.
My wanderings this day were short for I had failed to follow my own sage advice that “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”. I had decided to head towards Cedar Beach on a whim. I had no base layers to keep me warm, having ventured out in jeans and a winter coat. The stiff, steady breeze with temperatures in the teens, forced me to turn back. With the icy blasts stinging my face, I thought that maybe I should add some type of face covering to my winter hiking attire. Once home, I brewed a hot cup of lemon tea to help remove the chill from my bones.