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I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Many footprints in the sand are a sign of previous days being good. Looking from the balcony before walking this morning, I saw many footprints fanning out in different directions from the walkways leading residents between the building and the beach. Strings of footprints leading out as stems of flowers from a vase. This view inspired my thoughts today.
Footprints – the impressions left by a foot or shoe on the ground or a surface – a track, print, mark, or trace.
Let us not forget prints by other forms of feet: the hoofed, the pawed, the webbed, and the clawed – let alone those from mechanical devices. Of course, differentiating footprints and shoe prints is another story.
The footprints on the dry sand away from the waterline aren’t permanent as they will be erased by strong winds and surging tides – even mechanically raked by maintenance workers.
I prefer walking at the waterline because walking easier and the waves caress my lower extremities. By the waterline, waves will limit the imprint’s existence. A little higher, some footprints will remain until the high tide returns to wash away those signs of humanity.
One can discover more than they think when observing footprints. Shoes versus barefoot, the walking direction, foot size, and shoe size – even some shoe prints showing treads that can identify a brand. The walker’s foot action as pronating, pigeon-toed, or straight feet are noticeable.
Weight distributions are different – some on the toes, others on the heel – some on the inside or outside edge while others are more balanced or even. None appear to be flat-footed – at least I didn’t notice any.
The footprints I see seem fairly easy to differentiate males, females, and kids. Footprints have been shown to determine the person’s height and gender.
Close footprints in the same direction indicate two people walking close – perhaps hand in hand. I wonder: Can forensic experts extract a person’s DNA from a bare footprint on the beach? I do not know.
I see the small sanderlings ahead of me foraging for food. I must check. Understandably, their very light stamps in the wet sand at the waterline will quickly wash away.
For a bird, the Great Blue Heron has a large footprint. I spot a set – three-clawed toes facing the water and one clawed toe in the opposite direction. From facing the water, the heron must have turned to walk parallel to the waterline. There appears to be a possible scuffle – but then the prints are a trail away from the water and toward the sea oats. To me, all this means the heron spotted a fish washed ashore, captured it, then took his prized possession to the sea oats to rip this tasty meal into more manageable pieces. Yes – tracking the footprints of animals in the wild.
Footprints in life are much more than what I see on the beach.
Forensics gather and analyze the footprints associated with a crime scene as important evidence. The bloody – those in the mud or freshly turned soil. Tire prints too – the footprints of a vehicle.
I wonder: How long do the footprints on the Moon remain? Without an atmosphere and waves, I imagine them remaining a very long time. Well, unless erased by a striking asteroid or covered by the scattered dust.
A slogan here is to only leave footprints on the beach. A message for visitors to take all personal belongings inside at the end of the day.
As a golfer, I know to rake the footprints I make in the sand trap. Raking the sand so my footprint doesn’t hinder the next golfer is the right thing to do.
Some footprints remain unexplained, but are froth with stories from mythology to legend. Other footprints are fossilized evidence of prehistoric life.
To some, footprints in the sand is a meaningful prayer. To others, it is a story worth pondering.
Painted footprints from a child on a piece of paper can be a gift that will eventually serve as a remembrance of the past and how fast time flies.
As technology makes the world smaller, it seems human footprints are much more evident. Footprints as an identity – who we are, what we purchase, where we use credit credits, the location of our phone, stopping points of our web browser, boarding a plane, using a passport, completing an application, downloading an app, brands we purchase, the number of miles we drive, our lifestyle, our social media footprint – personal footprints of our life.
Today we hear about carbon footprints – but some deny they make them or see their existence as unimportant and irrelevant.
Footprints are steps to follow – following a mentor – a guide.
Footprints are a chance to leave a positive mark on a situation or on someone – possibly a legacy to someone who will pass it on.
Yes, these are all footprints – impressions left behind by someone. Yes, footprints are more than what I see on the beach. Footprints are signs of what each of us has done in life – as a worker, parent, spouse, friend, volunteer, neighbor, and more.
On this day, what started with a view from the balcony turned into a very fruitful walk. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on the feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about footprints
- Footprints in the Snow (personal thoughts)
- Footprints of Spirit (poem)
- Footprints (poem)
- Footprints in the Mud (poem)
- Our Footprints (poem)
Next Post: Tides – Saturday 19 December @ 1:00 AM (Eastern US)
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