Seagulls at Cannon Beach

Using the energy of the each season to nourish you.

This is winter. Even though it feels like spring is coming many know it is still clearly winter. Here in the Willamette Valley we’ve had our usual variation of weather with rain, cold – some severe cold, fog, and a glimpse of the sun. Winter is the season of Kidney energy and is the perfect time to nourish this aspect of you. Kidneys are the source energy organ where we get our life energy, our genetic map – essence, and Yin and Yang energies. It is the Water element, a Yin element, from which you can consider all life evolved. This definitely brings to mind the ocean. Visiting the ocean can be a very good way to nourish the Kidneys. Listening to the hypnotizing, relaxing sound of the surf and smelling the salty air (the flavor of the Kidneys is salt) makes this a very energizing outing (along with leaving work behind).

While it can be cold in the Willamette Valley it can be very warm out on the coast. It’s a well-kept secret. So during our very cold period a few weeks ago my husband and I went out to the coast. Cannon Beach looked like the hot spot – 50’s – so we headed west.

What a glorious day. It’s nowhere near as crowded now, especially if you get there early, parking is easy to find. The shops aren’t crowded and there is no wait at the restaurants. We decided to walk the beach first, even though I was hungry.

We lucked out again in that the tide was out so there was even more room to roam. We first visited the seagull flock who were taking a bath in the stream where it meets the ocean. Quite a lot of activity. Having a wide stream of water that was a foot deep was enough of a safety margin for them that you could get close and they wouldn’t fuss too much.

The rest of the beach had a lot of logs and other flotsam up at the high water line. In the recently uncovered sand there were scattered rocks, pieces of sand dollars and sea weeds and grasses. Foam created some interesting patterns around collections of “stuff”. The sun was low and bright and the sky was crystal clear. The fog was back in the mountains.We strolled the sand. No need to do a power walk. You’re at the beach to nourish Yin, the slower, calmer energy. We don’t do enough of this in our crazy, hectic lives. Besides you get a variety of workouts here depending on the hardness of the sand. The foot prints in the sand included running shoes, hiking boots, “Wellies” (high top work boots) and bare feet (it was that warm). Of course there were lots of dogs and a couple of horses.

Foot prints in the beach sand

We like to do a lot of photography though we didn’t bring our fancy cameras I was happy with my little Cool Pix and my husband was playing with his phone. The low light created some interesting shadows and I was getting down into a deep crouch to get close to the subjects. Most of the time my husband and I took turns on “water watch” but sometimes we got caught up in our subjects. One of those times when my husband looked up and I was still nose-to-the-sand he informed me that the water was coming. Unfortunately it was only about 3-4 feet away.  Being that I was in such a deep crouch it was difficult for me to get up quickly as the sand was already softening with the water coming into it. I lost my footing and went to my knees. I couldn’t get up and my husband grabbed my coat collar and I fell over onto my left side. Now I was rolling around in the water. Definitely soaked from the waist down. My rain jacket kept the upper part of me dry. But I had flannel lined pants on and they are heavy. Golly! I was still starving, soaking wet, still had a lot of beach to walk and my camera and purse were wetter than I wanted.

We stopped at a log, wrung out our sox and kept walking. It took a while for me to discover I had lost my favorite scarf in the surf. I hope no creature got caught up in it. I did have my rain pants, another coat and my hiking boots and sox in the car so I had something to change into. That was good as I still had to eat. People were getting paid with “sand dollars” out of my wallet that day.

The camera got put into ICU for the next day and it wanted to respond. We had high hopes but we lost it two days later. Salt water baths do nothing good for electronic gear although it makes good taffy.

So lessons learned: Nourish your Kidneys and Yin energy in the winter. Visiting the beach is a good way to do this. Take time to slow down, ponder, stroll, sniff the air, explore the horizon, be introspective, relax. Nourishing your Yin and Kidneys is important all year but doing it in the season it dominates provides more support. Give it a try. Just watch for the water. I was able to walk away with little harm done but sneaker waves are no joke. Stay safe.

Sand dollar

Feather in the sand

Energy of the Seasons