172 – Soft

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The sand here is very fine, so walking across the dry sand to the waterline feels soft on my feet – yet grainy when rubbing it between my fingers. Maybe the fineness influences how well it creates the hard, packed surface along the waterline that I like.

Looking up, the sky is very blue. Most of the clouds are light wisps with gentle curves. Simply beautiful steaks of nature’s paint on its canvas of blue. I stop to do a 360 to notice only a few thick, fluffy clouds appearing as a collection of cotton balls. Whether wispy or fluffy, clouds have a soft look.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Soft is my word for this walk. Soft isn’t hard or firm to our touch. Soft is supple, squishy, pliable, resilient, malleable, and more. Sometimes the sand can be too soft as in mushy and sloppy like quicksand – but still soft.

My eyes return to the sky, and then imagine yesterday’s cloudy day and the cloud-filled dark skies of approaching storms. They still have a way of looking soft, but most of us look at those clouds as different. Then again, the clouds have a way of softening the sun’s intensity. However, we know descending through the clouds in a plane is bumpy, which doesn’t signal softness.

I write this essay during winter – a time of snow at home – and even more for those further north. Home is where I have spent the most winters – so I’ve experienced my share of snow. Seeing big flakes falling straight to the ground as new snow looks soft. So is seeing snow cling to the tree limbs. So is looking at the backyard of smooth white without footprints or tracks.

During winter at home, I love the soft feel of fleece tops and flannel bed sheets. Soft is also a cozy blanket and a pillow.

Soft is velvet, hair, wool, cotton candy, bubbles, cotton balls, lotion, cream pie, mousse, ducklings, and chicks. Soft is soft margarine and the feel of freshly washed and dried clothes.

Soft is a child’s stuffed animal, stoles, shawls, coats, bunnies, and the lucky rabbit’s foot – a baby’s skin, marshmallows, soft-serve ice cream, and a gentle breeze.

Photo by Wilson Vitorino on Pexels.com

Soft is the fur of a lap cat with its inviting belly to rub. Soft is also fuzzy dogs walked by my neighbors at home.

Soft is not bright, intense, loud, glaring, or harsh. Soft is subtle and easy to mold. I think of soft in the world of music – the soft touch of a skilled pianist – the soft dynamics of piano and mezzo-piano – either as a decrescendo or a sudden subito. Soft for shaping the music to add drama and feeling.

Soft is the night with a loved one – a soft glow of candlelight and the soft elegance of Pinot Noir or Barolo. The joining of hands to dance a soft waltz – followed by soft lips touching.

Soft is the slow, gentle kiss on the lips. One that is easy yet stops time. Soft is the touch of a hand across a lover’s face, the caresses of love, fingers running through the hair, the petals of a rose – and the time of soft passion.

Soft is the sound of a wave after a thunderous clap – the soft sound quickly dissipates for one to hear the gentle movement as it approaches the feet. Soft enough to hear small bubbles popping and the tinkling of shells caused by the retreating water.

Soft is the feathers of the birds that I see, but they won’t let me touch them to confirm. Because soft is pleasant to touch, I chuckle at how we feel fabric with our fingers before buying – but are the buyers feeling for softness, quality, or both?

I don’t imagine the creatures of the sea as soft because I sense scaly and hard. But to me, a sea anemone has an impression of being soft – but I’m not touching one to find out.

Photo by Johnny Mckane on Pexels.com

Soft is more than a texture. Soft is the innocence of a newborn, the whisper in the library, or voices making sure not to awaken a sleeping baby. Soft is also the quiet and hush of glowing embers of a once-roaring fire. Soft light can be dim, low, subdued, and mellow. Maybe subtle is a fitting descriptor.

Soft is the feeling of water flowing across my feet, but that is not the same soft water many of us relate to hardness: the number of minerals present.

Obviously, soft is many things in life. As I end this walk, I look to the sky to see it is relatively unchanged since I started two hours ago – soft wispy clouds with a gathering of soft, white, fluffy clouds gathered over the land. The soft clouds in the air, the soft sand on my feet, and the soft breeze on my face are a wonderful combination. No wonder I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Soft

Next Post: Pairs – Wednesday 8th February @ 1 AM (Eastern US


107 thoughts on “172 – Soft”

  1. Good morning, Frank! I also think clouds look soft. I agree that soft can apply to multiple senses–soft touch, taste, sound. . .
    I was going to say more than hard, but then I thought right away of hard C and hard cider. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely soft thoughts! Well, on the other hand…I can tell you’re missing the winter aren’t you? This post was your soft and subtle way to tell us you wish you could enjoy some bitter cold winds. Just kidding…and now I’m even more jealous of the soft sand you walked on for 2 HOURS! I’m heading out for my 40 minute walk in 2 F temps that feels like -8 F. The hard frozen ground kicks back at my heavy boots as I dodge huge ice chunks from the snow plow. It’s a workout just like walking in squishy sand on a beach. I think the soft snow is really frozen solid right now – even the rabbits can’t break through it easily. 🤣🥶🧊🥶🧊🥶🧊 Stay cool 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I think you covered soft quite nicely Frank. You can’t beat the soft hug of a grandparent or a soft tissue when you need one! But I don’t like soft-cover books…hard-cover only for me. And I don’t like people who are soft on crime! I do love people with big hearts who I consider to be “old softies”.

    Very enjoyable post Frank. I wish our temperatures would soften up to something warmer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger,
      Oh my and WOW. Love the fact that you included multiple points about soft that I wish I would have included. Well done. No question that a dose of frigid has descended on North America. Good news is that I’m a snowbird, so it’s not as bad here … but seeing the images on the news makes me shiver. Thanks for sharing and walking along.


    1. Laurie,
      Thank you for the kind words. Soft definitely has many applicable and examples. Glad you enjoyed the music and video. I take the closing video as a serious decision for the walk. Most comments don’t mention it – so I assume most don’t watch it …. so thanks for the time – and I like it, too! Stay warm up there!


  4. A beautiful post, Frank. The sound of waves in the background made me long to sit in the sand at the beach at dawn. Softness all around me. Sea creatures are often quiet soft. Fish and eels and swimmy things anyway. Thanks for the wonderful morning meditation. 🙂


  5. Frank,
    So many aspects to soft. A lover’s soft touch raising goosebumps along its path… mmmm
    Have a great Saturday! Here we are freezing our patooties off. Soft and warm flannel everything in while hanging out in front of the fire is the order of the day for me 🙂 (-18, feels like -42)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For me, soft is the fur around Norman’s neck that tickles my nose and makes me smile. Most sheepdogs have coarse textured hair but Norman’s is unusually soft and fluffy. Apparently in addition to tickling, it also likes to cling to all my dark colored clothes like Velcro. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed your thoughts and examples of soft, Frank. A pleasant theme on which to reflect. I can attest that sea anemones are soft having recently touched them at the Scripps Birch Aquarium’s “Do Touch” exhibit with my granddaughters. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Soft is intriguing because it can be so deceptive. We don’t know what is hiding behind, it could be hard, it could be wonderful or it could be horrendous. That is true of everything we see. We really don’t know the truth of it until we are immersed. But I do love the idea of soft and gentle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love softness, too, especially those people with soft hearts, that are the most pleasant peeps to be with…and somehow those peeps also have the most wisdom, at least I think so.

    Our brains are very soft material, that is why we need a very hard skull to protect it.
    And if we didn’t have a hard skeletal structure we would be like those jellyfish…just a blob…but their softness is betraying; good thing we are not like them!

    I used to be amazed at the softness of footfalls that our cats had..they could sneak up so easily! Then they would jump up, without sound and come to put their softness into my face! Talk about being startled!

    You always have such good and interesting subject material; food for thought!


    1. Ingrid,
      I’m sure you encounter many degrees of hearts in your line of work, but I can tell that your soft heart showers them with kindness. When their soft heart meets yours, it’s more like synergy. Cheers to you and your efforts. Meanwhile, cats are soft all over … and I loved when ours would sneak up with a jump then rub & their motor running! Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This post was soft on my eyes, Frank. That lovely rose…
    I can tell you that bird feathers are indeed incredibly soft. I feel lucky that I get to hold the lovely little things when we do banding in the summer.
    That snow may be soft when it falls, but it sure doesn’t stay that way!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You had me at flannel sheets something I won’t be enjoying while living in Arizona! But flannel sheets and a heavy blanket in winter in Ohio and Illinois was pure delight! I still enjoy a fleece top or a cashmere sweater here though. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      Happy to hear that I delivered joyful thoughts about flannel sheets, a heavy blanket, fleece, and sweaters. I get it what you’re saying about the bedding. My wife wanted to put them on earlier than I do … surprise surprise … and keep them on longer. I love them, but I don’t want to sweat when I sleep. Then again, they are warm and soft. Meanwhile, Arizona can still have cool days in the winter which are perfect for warm, soft clothes. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Barbara,
      LOL … I didn’t imagine encountering Mr. Whipple this morning! 🙂 Then again, we know the difference between soft and not-so-soft toilet paper we encounter elsewhere. But do we really need thick triple ply? Glad you enjoyed this walk & thanks for sinking your toes into the soft sand.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahh Frank, you ol’ softie!
    As I sank into your fluffy cloud post (in a good comfy way), listening to the soft music of “Tenderness”, I wondered.
    Why are carbonated drinks like: Orange Crush, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Sprite, etc. called soft drinks?
    They don’t feel soft when you drink them. The carbonation feels bursting, rough, exciting on my tongue and in my throat.
    Here’s a soft song, that takes place in a warm soft foamy bubble bath. For you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qphknagXqAx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Glad you enjoyed this one. Love the video – besides the soft bubbles, the music was soft. About soft drinks. I don’t know – so I did a quick search, so here’s one answer. Soft drinks are the opposite of hard drinkers … that is, nonalcoholic vs alcoholic. Makes sense to me! Cheers!


  13. Frank, my main takeaway was nicely summarized by the title of one of the blog posts you recommended. Softness is indeed not a weakness. To me, empathy for others and putting yourself in the other person’s shoes isn’t being soft. It’s being smart…and strong. There are so many animals and materials that convey true softness!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Frank, good questions. I think the word soft has been weaponized. Somewhere along the way it became unfashionable to approach things with a lighter touch. We used to call someone an “old softie” and it was a good thing, that they had a good heart. Now, I do agree with you if you call someone that they’d probably think it was an insult and you were questioning their mettle.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Cincy,

    I don’t do ice cream all that much but when I do, I enjoy soft serve. My daughter says my tennis serve is soft and that’s not great. My ability to shoot jump shots is sugary soft and that’s pretty okay. The Dolphins defense played pretty soft last year but with the Vic Fangio hire, that should change.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marc,
      Good one with relating soft serve to ice cream and tennis. In terms of ice cream, there are times when I prefer soft serve and other times when I don’t. Interesting how much the Dolphins D fell off from last year. Sometimes a new DC helps because so much is about the scheme. Thanks for sharing a variety of thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t keep ice cream in the house most of the time, not because it’s temptation but because I don’t really crave it. On those rare occasions when I do? Yeah, soft serve.

        Fangio knows his business and I expect the unit to improve by leaps and bounds. They have talent, no doubt about that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There’s no much about ice cream I don’t like … well, except for some flavors such as coconut. YUK! I don’t care for the mochas. Cincy has a great ice cream … Graeters (greaters) … $14 per half gallon expensive – but damn good. Fortunately, their stores sell cones, sundaes, shakes, sodas, etc. Needless to say, I want to limit the amount of ice cream at home!

          Fangio is a good DC guy. He may be one of those people who fit the DC/OC mode, but not as a head coach.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Chips were always my downfall but I’ve been beating back at that craving over the last year or so. Feel much better for having done so too.

            Yeah, he wasn’t a head coach and that’s alright. Not everyone is. Fangio has his niche and he’s damn good at it.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Perfect to read and exhale any stress! Just the idea of “soft” feels like comfort. My parents always quoted the Bible and the verse, “A soft answer turns away wrath,” and I think of that often in this day when yelling and screaming over each other seems to be a sport. Beautiful post, Frank. A good choice of words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Good point about the yelling and screaming in today’s world is far from soft. During my early part of my teaching career, I still recall one of the staff elders would tell me to kill them with kindness. Thanks for sharing about your parents!


  16. I like that 🙂 Thank you , I am walking on the beach too.
    You are right :
    – “Dry sand feels soft when walking without shoes on the beach” because principally due to its fineness. The coarser grains are rougher, less churned by the sea water they have more asperities. Less rounded, they oppose resistance when walking on and can easily sore feet.
    – “The grains of sand fineness influences how well it creates the hard, packed surface along the waterline”. YES I agree.

    But in each case, the main factor is WATER: the proportion, percentage of water in it.
    Here lies the whole art of creating sand castles. Whatever its height, a pile of dry sand always has a slope of the same value, at any point on the surface. Thanks to the water the degree of the slope can vary. 🙂
    Without water each grain is alone side by side, feet sink in dry sand.
    With water grains agglomerate. Until it could turn into a “gangue” of cement that could engulf a person buried in the sand, at rising tide (horrible fate).

    – Too soft in quicksand” areas because there are not only sand and water but other suspended very small particles too, like from silt to clays. They create a binder between the water and the sand which gives a smoothness and an instability relative … It is light but compacts easily when walked on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This angle is called the natural slope angle and depends on the geometry of the grain. The more spherical the grain is , the lower the angle will appear.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.