I returned from Kauai, Hawaii recently to the sunshine state of Florida. However, it has been a cold, yet sunny Florida winter. Most Floridians enjoy the colder weather and being able to put on their sweaters for a change. I love the cool weather when walking, especially on the beach. The ocean is usually like glass with perfectly formed waves rolling in—great for surfing.

The Florida beaches have always been a haven of calm for me. The aqua ocean, the vast sea, and the gently rolling waves have a profound effect on uplifting my emotions.

On the occasion, when I rise out of bed early enough and make it to the beach in time to see the sun first peak on the horizon is thrilling. Every time this happens it is a magical experience for me. The colors that the sun paints on the ocean and sky are always changing… always new.

The ocean is truly one of the greatest gifts and wonders of nature. I feel so sad when I see plastic wash in from the waves and cover the beach. I can fill an entire garbage bin everyday with plastic bottles and bags that wash in onto the shoreline. It is hard to comprehend why people don’t understand the importance of taking care of our precious resources when nature bestows upon us so much abundance of food and beauty.

As Bob Dylan wrote: “The times they are changing”. People are seeking a spiritual awakening and exploring their interior world through yoga and meditation. The more people wake up to their inner nature, the more connected they will feel to the nature around them, and thus want to take care of the environment.

I feel so blessed to have grown up near the ocean and able to appreciate its calming qualities at a young age. Everyday it is a gift to be able to walk on the beach, watch the sandpipers dart in and out of the waves, see the seagulls and pelicans soar by, and gaze out over its vast expanse. The ocean and beach are always a piece of heaven for me—even during the winter months.

Health and Happiness,

Ann Purcell

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