By Phyllis Galowitz

Walking along Route 28, my shoes rhythmically hitting the road like a light drumbeat, the sounds of the birds overhead, piccolos and flutes, and the brook mimicking the violins, cellos and bass fiddles fill me with ecstasy. Wildflowers sway softly in the breeze. Are they the corps de ballet? I pick a bouquet on the way home.

The road is empty. Occasionally a car goes by and I wave to the driver. He waves back though we don’t know each other. A neighbor is preparing to mow his lawn. Will that sound fit into the symphony? He waits for his entrance. Would the loud percussion spoil the balance?

I love this walk. I love the mountains in the distance. I love the way the colors change as the sun moves and the way the clouds change their patterns.

I grew up near the beach. The ocean roared. The sand burned my feet. The sun baked me to a crisp. It was fun to peel away the thin layers, until slowly, I became light brown. We never knew about sun causing cancer in those days. My grandmother thought she was doing the right thing when she encouraged me to stay at the beach all day!

The beach was crowded. Vendors hawked their wonders. Ice cream. Hot dogs. Lost children screamed in terror for someone to rescue them. Lifeguards blew their warning whistles as swimmers became too adventurous. Emergency vehicles carried dangerously injured or almost drowned victims to first-aid stations on the beach. Crowds swarmed like waves to see and hear what happened and when the patient emerged unscathed, the wave dispersed. At the end of the day, as the flag was lowered, children filled their holes to China, flattened their castles and gathered buckets and shovels. Blankets were folded, chairs and umbrellas collected. Slowly, the beach emptied. Only the roar of the ocean remained.

Those were wonderful years. A perfect place to grow up, but now, in my waning time, I’m happy to be in this gentle, peaceful, most beautiful spot on earth, where the sun is not very strong and the roads are quiet, except for the music of nature all around me and my inner voice keeping to the rhythm of my feet. ~