Sunday, January 17, 2010

Out of touch with nature

As surfers we are the lucky ones. We seem most at home
in nature, in the ocean. We are dialed in to the rhythms of
the natural world - wind, tide, swell, sand. reefs, low pressure systems,
the ocean, and the life that calls the ocean home. It's easy to
forget that others are actually out of touch with nature. Out
of touch with all that is around them.

These past few weeks the Atlantic, here in NJ, has been asleep.
No waves, no real swell to speak of, but to those who take the
time to look there is plenty going on in our natural world.
We've had more seals showing up on the beaches than in
recent memory. Amazing how some people are freaked
out by the idea. Seals on the could that be they ask?

The nor'easters of the fall and early winter have done some
interesting things to our dunes and sandbars. Yesterday I
walked the beach in Seaside Heights, you know the home of
that bizarre MTV show "Jersey Shore". I Actually walked past
the place they lived but not on the boardwalk. I was on the beach
with another surfer checking out the carved out beach, the new
sandbar layout. We were watching as 8 inch waves peeled down
the newly formed sand points. We speculated about what will
happen when we get a swell, how those bars will perform.
Meanwhile behind us, up on the boardwalk people were taking
pictures of the closed t shirt shop and the painted door of the
MTV house. Not exactly nature, not exactly real but I guess
that's their world.

Research tells us that people who spend time in nature are
healthier and less stressed. No real surprise to surfers. Take
the time to connect with the natural world around you. Walk
on the beach, take a hike in the woods, visit a nature preserve.
You'll feel better for it. You will find yourself more connected
yet more at peace. The seals on the beach won't surprise you so
much and you'll be less interested in the fantasy of "reality tv".

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