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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


"They" say that to prevent brain rot one should be social, do crosswords, read, etc. May I add walking on Maine shore rocks to the list?

Having walked down to Crockett's Beach via roads, I'll often walk back along the shore. Sand quickly gives way to the familiar jumble of rocks and immediately all thought - worries about the family, memories of childhood, to-do-lists, joys on viewing bay and sky - disappears. What replaces it is a kind of animal consciousness of the surroundings at foot. In this business of movement, the brain starts making a thousand decisions unrelated to philosophy or politics. That rock? No, too tippy. There, a big, flat one. Then, too much slimy seaweed. OK, some green stuff on that one but looks mostly dried, won't slip. Pointed-top one, but try it anyway with right foot, ouch, teeter, wave arms for balance, find safe one for left. Small stones, gravel, avoid, makes too much noise for neighbors on bank above, foxes in den down the way. Huge boulder, too big to climb? no, stretch old muscles - yes. Go around. A thousand decisions in five minutes. Rest on granite ledge. Look out to sea, refreshed.

That's my prescription, doctor. Your feet have minds of their own. Exercise them. Walk the same shore hundreds of times on millions of rocks. Imagine trying to take the exact same route as yesterday. Give up in gratitude at the world's grace.

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