A simple view...one filled with elegance also. That is what it was! The scene reaped of peace--of harmony even--and through the silence of the evening (other than the splashing of a fish in the sound or the wonderfully harsh grating of a tern passing by to go to roost) I heard the sky proclaim many things with its beauty. It was simple. And...it was elegant. So true that it is worth repeating. And there was also a moon and a star...and me.
After a full day ocean side a sound side evening of reflection comes welcomingly...The perfect way to end a perfect day. This evening seems to be enchanted though and I get these hints early on through a most glorious sunset and...a moon and a star.
I look up to see the clearest evening skies that I have ever seen. Nothing mars the striking glowing colors or the clarity...no wisps or puffs of clouds- Not a thing. And yet suspended up on their own accord in that wonderous way in which we all at one time or another wondered how they stayed up there was a single and brilliant star and a brilliant sliver of moon. So close together in the ether they were that they seemed to form a couple. They were a pair. Silently they spoke myriads to me--they spoke of beauty & amazement, of love & life, of wonders of the world, they also spoke of the simplicity but yet mysterious elements of the earth that surround us..the ones we are meant to feel but never truly understand. They are the elements that guide us and befriend our souls. It is a faith. They also spoke of inspiration. Inspiration sometimes seems to come with a price that is lonely. And sometimes inspiration stumbles and falls...until moments like this ~ They are matters of the heart. And sometimes the bittersweetness is felt.
The dusk gives into darkness and the couple still resides high overhead becoming even more brilliant as they arrive in their time. Its a sign that all is right and as it should be. It will become a constant in my life now... among the many memories of this bittersweet trip. It will be one of these constants that you know you can depend on ~ one you can rely on. Although suspended there for all the world to see, I feel like it was just for me...and as I stood there on the balcony...it was a moon, a star....and me.
As a child I was a cloud gazer...just what you would expect from a child. I looked up to the clouds and viewed them as friends. I looked up wide-eyed, full of wonder and with an open heart. I was a child with high hopes and even some dreams...this is what makes a cloud gazer. There was no limit to what one could see in the clouds. Who we are help us to shape the clouds in our lives and what we see. I am not sure when I stopped being a cloud gazer...that seems to be lost somewhere in time. But, at 43 years old I have once again become a cloud gazer. It brings back to my life a sense of "muchness"...something that at this point in my life really counts. Muchness--a borrowed term but one that is so fitting that I had to keep it and make it mine. Once I heard the term I realized that just perhaps that my own muchness had gotten lost along the way. As I am searching for my lost muchness I look to the clouds. Seeing their shapes, their sizes, I realize how short lived they are. There one moment and the next, they are gone...gone forever...taking on another form, another personality. Never one to ever be duplicated again...just like a day in life but more fleeting. I often spend time wondering where the clouds above me have come from--how far did they travel to meet my eyes and how many different shapes must they have taken on? I can compare myself to a cloud in that there are many faces and many moods...The bright blue sky is but a back drop to the scene but not always seen, but yet it is a constant. Clouds and shadows lend to color and depth. Some days light hearted and serene, some days melancholy and gray, and yet other days filled with fury. They show their moods--their human-ness. But a cloud is a cloud and all have a personality no less. Free floating and free changing forms with no worry or even a concept of time. Drifters they be as they seemingly drifty by unconsciously. To be a cloud for a day--drifting, floating, no worries, a form of many shapes--to be a wisp--a wisp of a cloud. The feelings of pleasantry that I get from just the mere thought of it makes me giddy..as giddy as a 43 year old cloud gazer can be...I see a glimpse of my muchness...
Seashells...I have for so long admired their beauty, the feel of them, and the mystery of them. Some of their mystery is their beauty. And...they are comforting to the inner me. I have many times held them in the palm of my hand and have been exceedingly fascinated by them. I have been awed by their shapes, their patterns, their intricacies. It sends my mind spiraling like the whorl of a shell itself. I have been beguiled by their subtle and simple colors and hues and have been mesmerized by many. All are beautiful, each one with a history that we know not...for it is simply a shell. The part taht we admire, the part that we know the best, is merely a shell...So what do we really know? More than once I have wondered about the true and former occupant--the mollusc--that once lived inside. I am truly curious when it comes to the "heart of the matter".
Recently I was gazing at a small crystal that is hanging in my window. It spins and spirals and life breaks free...A friend of mine gave it to me and as the light reflected through it I was awed at her favorite color...roygbiv..All the colors of the rainbow. And for some reason, the reason unknown to most but made to be known at the time that it must...came through to me reflecting in the reflection. It was then that I realized how much like a mollusc that I really am.
There are very few people who really know ME...and a lot who think they do. What they are seeing, however, is my shell. And as it is that the mollusc inside the shell forges its own shell through the processes of nature, I , too, have forged my own shell. Mine however has been forged spiritually...forever seeking...I am a wandering spirit and a drifter at times. My spirit, my feelings, my thoughts run too deep, perhaps, for those around me who choose not to travel with me. Lonely at times this realm can be...but you cannot beg or teach someone to know you or get one to truly feel the unseen that you do. Its a wealth that remains in the deep recesses of my heart, and my heart alone. At times a curse, but yet a good curse.
We see the empty shell...we admire it. What happened to the mollusc inside who created the shell? Chances are...we'll never know. And chances are that the many around me will never know either. I am a restless and wandering spirit, and a flowing soul, but I am also a mollusc and this is my shell....
From early on hopes & dreams are hoped and dreamed for us. As we get older and our surroundings shape us we form hopes & dreams of our own. Some are easily achieved & realized & yet others are never attainable. These un-attainable dreams are often hung onto for years. We often hang on to them because a big part of life is the dream--it is what drives us and motivates us. Its the dare. But at some point in life we get lost and so do our dreams. And yet other dreams don't get lost---we just let them go. I have often wondered at what point in our lives should we give up on our dreams...do we get to old to have them? Why do some of us set our dreams so high and big that they are un-achievable--un-reachable?
With our September trip to the coast I found & reached a couple of my small dreams. With these achievements also came the realization that some of my other dreams would always be just out of my reach...they did not have to be but these dreams were mine & mine alone...there would be nobody to achieve them with and me being me realized that after all these years I have never been "just me" and never would be.
The trip was bittersweet for me...being in a place I loved dearly...being in an environment that enthralled me and touches me in the most deepest recesses of my heart and won't let go. Its un-explainable. Its the best and worst kind of love affair you can have. It was on this trip that I "let go" of some of my dreams realizing that I am not one to have my own but share in those of others. I did have my way in the way I let go though.
Infatuation or love? Am I infatuated with the Gulf Stream or am I in love with it? I had never seen it, nor been in it...but now I can say that I have seen it at a far distance...I have seen traces of it come in and dance with and tease traces of the Labrador current. Never mixing, never combining, never becoming one. So much like me. This is in thanks to a man who has been "infatuated" with the Gulf Stream all of his life, but unlike me, has experienced it fully and freely and lives his dream. From above I seen these two confluences interact with each other--intertwining and twisting...with all the colors of a soul if you could imagine a soul having color. The colors weighed heavy on my heart, heavy on my soul. The view yanked all speech from me. And the tears streamed down my face. It was understood by me, by God, and one other person who knew the "infatuation". And as I seen those two currents of ever-flowing life that did not mix, that flowed together but did not become one it was then that I realized that most of my hopes & dreams were big--too big--and like the currents would not mix with my ordinary life.
Is it the mystery, the beauty, or intrigue of it all that I am so fascinated with all of the life of the ocean? An almost of all this life remains un-reachable for me as I am land-bound. A single sea turtle though can bring all of this intrigue to shore for us, but yet build the mystery, build the beauty and then take it back out to sea leaving us longing for more. Being a mere viewer into the tiny lives of several loggerhead sea turtle babies brought all of this awareness about for me. So tiny, so big a world, so much weight to carry on its back...Was it fair of me to add to its burden by casting a dream or two upon the backs of these babies? And yet I did...I needed them---they do not need me. They are free...direction, but yet no direction. Just as life should be. And the tears streamed down my cheeks.
And so, with the currents and with the baby sea turtles I sent my biggest hopes and dreams...with them they can forever drift in the oceans, being free, and not be wasted with me in-land, withering, with no chance of ever being realized.
And so at what point should a person let go? At the point when you can still pass it along to someone who has already realized "your" dream or when you can pass it along to "infinity"...never losing it...not living it, but letting it live...That was my point....
Several weeks ago I heard the first indication of the turning of a season. It brought on feelings of melancholy--a tinge of sadness. When I hear the first katydids strum up and placing blame of who did it I know in my heart that the shift has begun and that the summer is starting to forwarn us--to let us know gently in its own way--that it will hang on for as long as it can but that its time is coming. Its tired...its the dying of a season. And for the next few weeks it seems hard to believe its true, but I realize that these dog days of summer are just summers way of venting its fury to having to let go and its way of preparing us for being ready to let it go.
This morning when I stepped outside at 4 am I felt the tiredness and weakness of summer and its voice was thin and frail. The moon was full and bright, there were thin, wispy, and back lit clouds and soul searching stars. I felt the stars, the ether air and the moon glow as I slipped into a light overshirt. Summers song has been replaced with a hint of fall song--crickets--who had the stage all on their own. They are gently pushing out summer and gently ushering in fall. Life being what it is I know we have to accept it, learn our good-byes in a way that we can still look forward to whats in the next season without any feelings being hurt.
All the signs are here--butterfly bushes loaded down with a profound number of different butterflies and skippers on waning blooms, all ports full on the hummer feeders, and nighthawks moving over in numbers. The air is turning thin and crisp. The night skies appear different. And there is only an occasional flicker now and then from a lightning bug that cannot yet let go.
At 7:12 am the full morning moon was still vibrant and clear with an airy-ness of mystery shrouding it in the forms of cloud fingers in front of it. There was a grimness associated with this picture as there is with death, but yet there was a feeling of calm and sereneness that came over me with the view...there was a promise of rest and re-newal, for both body and soul and also for nature in all its forms...
"I love you," I whispered into the ear of the ocean. Ever since I've known you, I've loved you. I must see all your marvels, know all your beauty..." And the ocean listened and snuggled still closer to me.
Even during our working hours there is always still time and space in our hearts and minds for studying, wandering, observing, and enjoying the many natural wonders of the world that surround us. Even in our every day and sometimes too routine lives can we take time for the intricacies that have been gifted to us. I have proved this many times over and evidence can be seen in the jottings of my daily journal of the simplest of observations that I make as I go to and fro just in my work. There is always time...we are surrounded.
The field that you see above was my work location for a week as I endured the sun, the heat, the humidity, and the rain. This field is my office for one week every year. Just by simply being there in the outdoors I am already "observing" nature. This once a year show gives me ample space and time in my working mind to see, to feel, and to hear nature. It is like a stress relieving seminar tied in with my working hours at the same time. It is proof that we are never too busy to enjoy Gods every day gifts to us. I am "in" these surroundings from sun rise to sun set for one full week. So is it really work? Oh yes!! There is a lot of work involved...strenuous and otherwise so I am thankful for this picturesque office!
As I am setting up I am listening to the upbeat chatterings of the barn swallows that zip up and around all day long. Now and then I have to just stop what I am doing to simply watch them when they find a swarming bug cloud. They swoop in tighter and tighter circles as they feast. They remind me that summer is not yet over. There is still time...Across the ways my ears pick upon the bouncing beat of field sparrows in another "office" while the cicadas actually seem to drone on and on--bearing down on us the fact that these are the true dog days of summer. In silence, but on high, the turkey vultures along with a single black vulture stroll on by. I wonder, is it any cooler up there in the ether and beyond? At times they flap and hold their wings descending in a short dive--are they playing? Dragonflies, mostly black saddlebags, patrol the perimeter. A stray ruby-throated hummingbird occasionally zips by--all business--no time to stop and chat. There is a mission to be completed. Here in this field black swallowtail butterflies seem to be the lepidoptera in charge with buckeyes and a few monarchs following close behind. Pearl crescents are the sweethearts of the field though. Each morning around the same time a flock of rock pigeons fly over and in the evening a lone great blue heron calls it a day going in the opposite direction. A pileated woodpecker came bounding by one morning - the only showing for him the whole week. The morning song brings much renewal to the soul on these hot and sultry summer days. Blue grosbeak, robins, indigo buntings being the most notable. Seems like each day, around noon, I hear a flicker. And in the din of the afternoon when the heat is up and bird song is down a goldfinch will go bounding by with his chippering call. Leaf hoppers and grasshoppers make our tables a refuge through the day with an occasional katydid out of hiding. The designs of the clouds that go by are endless. I have found a much re-newed interest in clouds this summer. Renewing my childhood.
Yes, there is always time ~ no matter where you are or what you are doing. These are gifts ~ big gifts that re-new themselves each and every day of our lives. We have only to open our eyes, our hearts, and our senses to receive them....
In our line of work, history plays a great part. Our work can be intriguing, romantic, mysterious, laborious, but yet it still lets your imagination run wild as a childs. Our own imaginations often run rampant. On occasion we get a call to do some salvage work on old houses slated to be torn down. Many of these old houses are old farm houses ~ houses that were beautiful at one time...vibrant in life and with life. And still are in an eerie kind of way...a way in which only certain people can see and feel. These are houses that were full of purpose and function and served them both well. Nothing was created for show, but created for living...the show came through naturally out of love. When we first go into these houses we can almost still hear and feel the echoes and spirits of past life which now only remains as a memory in the heart of the house. It remembers and still feels the love and life of former occupants and perhaps wonders why and what happened for it to be deserted...empty...desolate. We, ourselves, still see the beauty here. Time is ageless, but as human occupants leave nature takes over and wildlife moves in closer. Deer, rabbits, raccoons, and oppossums. Birds sing loudly and freely and nest comfortably with no worries with a real roof over their heads. Quail "bob-white" with confidence from atop the rail fence right out of the back door. Barn swallows are stooping and diving in and out of a barn that in all probability their great great grandparents called home. Dragonflies are abounding over wild over growth and butterflies are visiting flowers that were planted by a life already past. They are still lending to the beauty and aura of the homestead.
As we approach the house I sense a hope flaring up...a hope of returning laughter, life, and nurturing. But it is not to be as we start dismantling piece by piece and peace by peace the doors, the windows, the wood work and trim. The house cries out and sometimes I even feel the pain and sadness it must feel. I feel guilty as I watch an era disappearing before my eyes. An era that was before my time and what gives me the right? History cries and as each piece is carried out another memory is put to rest and set free.
Meanwhile, outside and all around the birds still sing, the hawks soar above, the butterflies still drift over the flowers and the dragonflies patrol. Life...as we know it...goes on...
Me, myself, and I...we are a very three dimensional personality. Most days find us working diligently at buying, selling, cleaning, packing, unpacking, and displaying the wares of our occupation. This is the side of me that most see and know. Most do not know me as a lover of nature, of birds and butterflies, of dragonflies and wildflowers, of bugs, of ocean, shells, and seabeans and the whole natural realm. Most do not see me as the soul searcher and restless spirit that I really am. While I do my job consciencentiously and with preciseness, I am often not totally on the clock.
I have often likened this dimension of myself as a shadow. My real loves, interests, and dreams lurking just beside me. Shadows can be big or small, but we all have one or more. Even when we cannot physically see them, they are there. We are never alone. I often find myself visiting with my shadows...my shadows of soaring with the pelicans, scouring the beach, of birding, of watching the barn swallows dip and dive, of listening to the katydids on waning summer nights. Yes, I have many shadows. Our shadows, to me, are our personal thoughts and dreams, our loves and our ambitions ~ other dimensions in our lives. Sometimes our shadows are seen only by ourselves with not many others really knowing the true me, myself, and I. Yes, sometimes it is lonely. At the same time it can lend to a mysteriousness of our lives...if we let them. Sometimes it is rewarding and comforting to hold our very own secrets to our own true selves. Our shadows can be looming, lurking, and large. They can haunt us in the most spiritual way and touch and enrich our lives...even if it is only me, myself, and I.
When I go to the beach I find myself amongst many shadows. Tall and short ones alike. I find that I am not the only lost, but found, soul there. We are just more visible in our own element. Some shadows have been lurking there for decades and some have left and returned to its nurturing. Our shadows remain faithful to us despite sometimes having to choose another path. They know we will return and when we do, the shadows are there. The heart and the soul of the matter are the same. Peace and harmony. Amongst ourselves...even if it is just me, myself, and I....
To be intensely knowledgeable about a sea pansy I am not. Knowledge or not though I am impressed with them. They are dainty, they are cute, they bring out the child-like giddiness in me. On occasion they can be spotted in numbers washing up on a beach. I excitedly rush to "pick" them as if picking pansies from a field. This just happens to be a field of a watery kind. They come across to me as sweet and innocent just as pansy flowers are. They are colorful and intricate in design. When coming right out of the water they shimmer and shine at their best. And with great reason--this is where they reside, where they love, where they belong. Take them away from the ocean and it is not long before they dry up, wither, lose their vibrancy, and become dull. Sometimes I feel like a sea pansy. While I am at the ocean I FEEL and SEE all of life...when I leave, only a part of me goes...and I am not whole.
They seem to me to have a sweet disposition. They remind me of a mini lily pad but instead of being an abode for a frog--as we often think of lily pads as--they are an abode for little polyps which have different forms and functions--All necessary for the life of this sea pansy. Its like a whole little world on a little bitty pad. They appear to have a little tail which is actually called a peduncle...It looks as cute as it sounds!
I find it amazing at how nature can give life a simple and beautiful look, but yet contain myriads of mystery in life. It is just but one facet that makes sea pansies endearing to me. A whole world in one small package. Just flowers of the sea ~ THAT is what they will always be to me. Just a bouquet of sea pansies....
Today I was holding a seashell in the palm of my hand. It was beautiful and I studied its intricate patterns and colors. I caressed the shell ~it felt good and comforting to the touch. A more simple thought ~ a memory ~ came to mind. Remember how as a kid you could hold a seashell up to your ear and hear the ocean? I held the shell up to my ear and for the moment I heard it! The magic was still there! I had not grown too old! And it sent me back to my childhood days and to the wonderful and innocent times of a little girl. The flood gates of my memory came tumbling down as the realization occurred to me that the little girl is still here...
This is the little girl that used to gently sneak up on lightning bugs and tenderly catch them and put them in a jar. That jar would go to bed with me and it comforted me to have my own little jar of stars twinkling right next to me. It always mystified me though as how by morning all my stars were gone.
That same little girl barely wore a shoe all summer long and swam just about every day. She counted honeybees on clover as she was searching for the lucky four leaf clovers. She enjoyed picking little bouquets of violets for her mother and liked to play in the rain.
This little girl had a pet chameleon, a rabbit, a turtle, goldfish, and hamsters. She liked to pick catalpha worms off of the trees. She would let ladybugs crawl up and around on her and loved to read.
There were the grand times that she would go fishing with her mom and dad and adored the sunfish that she caught. She liked pleasing her daddy by singing like a "red bird" and walking down the tracks with him to see what was out and about.
She enjoyed feeding ducks with her grandma and collected cicada shells. It was always a treat when dad cut open a big watermelon in the back yard and from the steps we would eat it! Building leaf houses was always a must. I still enjoy the smell of those fall leaves today. Rubbing the husks on a walnut brings about another pleasant smell. This is one little pleasure that was never given up or lost. The evening sun pink clouds made me crave for cotton candy. Hearing the ice cream truck was music to my ears. This same little girl danced with the evening church bells as they rang. She will never forget the first earthquake she felt. Her daddy ran behind her, supposedly holding her bike---she yelled the whole way "don't let go, don't let go", but he let go and she was on her own....In more ways than one....Every spring he would take her down to get license plates on her bike...she felt big and had her clout. You see, her daddy was a police officer.
Yes, the little girl is still here...Sometimes it just takes some coaxing to get her to come out and play.
4th of July ~ While most folks celebrated with picnics, games, and loud fireworks I celebrated in a more quiet and peaceful way. Oh, I had boom, bangs, and explosions of my own, but they came in a more quiet form of the "oohhs" and "aahhs".
While I was with family who were participating in all of the above I retreated to my own little part of the lake for awhile, with my chair, binoculars, net, and notebook and noted many wonders of a summer world around me. I witnessed the "declaration of independence" for many creatures in their own ways....including myself.
Summer time birds abounded up and over the lake. The purple martins--free of nesting responsibilities and rearing young--were sailing with a celebratory flight over the lake with the barn swallows. A red-tailed hawk soared lazily above with a turkey vulture while a common yellowthroat sang from across the way. A warbling vireo sang incessantly from high in a tree the whole day long. Two green herons stopped by along the side lines of the lake for a bit. A chimney swift, not quite free of its summer duties yet, made pop ins and outs of the club house chimney. Bobwhite quails seemed to sound patriotic in their singing off in a distance. The baltimore orioles were summer bright while the cedar waxwings sounded like high pitched piccolos.
While taking in all of the sky bound avifauna I had a front row seat to a whole different realm of winged beauty. Glimmering and shimmering in the sunlight was a whole BIG world on one small edge of the lake of dragonflies and damselflies. There were dozens and dozens and dozens of them! I sat in my chair entranced of the comings and goings of many! There were widow skimmers, black saddlebags, eastern amberwings, eastern pondhawks, halloween pennants, and blue fronted dancers. The damselflies were almost too delicate for my eyes to behold. They all paraded to and fro right in front of me bedazzling me with their tandem flights, their dips, and their grace. The sun shined and glimmered off their wings. Now and then my gaze was averted to a turtle watching me watching them. I wondered if he was as amazed at me as I was of them. A water strider strode by. Tiger swallowtails were puddling on the beach with a stray spicebush swallowtail with the group. Cicadas called....
Later in the evening I seen my type of fireworks...lightning bugs and showy stars...bats and luna moths....the katydids sounded off. And I celebrated...celebrated this life, its colors, its solitudes and I said to myself, "Happy 4th of July"....
Always I have seen the beauty of the birds, the butterflies and damselflies, the bees and the bugs, the flowers and the trees. I have seen the beauty of the skies, the clouds, and the rain. But this summer...I have really seen. Something this summer seems different--something has seemed to change. A new inner peace has seemed to find me ~ I am learning more of the things of importance, of how to slow down and take the time for the beauty that is before each and every one of us if we only elect to see...
This summer I have looked out and over the wooded hillsides and I have seen green as I have never seen before. My eyes have scanned and felt the wildflowers, a simple cabbage white butterfly caught my eye. I have watched a ruby-throated hummingbird display to his mate in wide arcs and seen a male cardinal lovingly and gently feed his gal a sunflower seed. I have seen him display to her in his head held high and arched tail flight singing all the while. I am learning that it is okay to play in the rain. I watched a monarch caterpillar grow before my eyes and baby robins learn to fly. I have seen the biggest and puffiest of cumulous clouds ever to see. Daily I watched robins bathe and preen in my yard and nightly have listened to the un-ending songs of a mockingbird. Amazed by his repotoire as I kept track of how many different birds he mimicked and took to the clues that he has not always been a neighborhood bird by the songs he sang of birds that are not in my "hood". A cecropia moth took my breath away while a zebra swallowtail bedazzled me. Chuck-wills-widows lulled me and a displaying male turkey impressed even me along with the females he was in front of. I have looked upon the young of tree swallows, bluebirds, and carolina chickadees. I have trembled at the song of a wood thrush and have cried at the sight of a blue grosbeak lying dead on the road. I watched a tree swallow retrieve a feather lost from its nest and I ached over the beauty of the color of its feathers. I have looked a bee eye to eye on a butterfly bush. Cricket frogs have revebrated through my heart and my ears perked up immediately upon hearing the annual cicadas strike up a chord. Chimney swifts chittered to me incessantly and I was refreshed by the rain. I looked upon lightning bugs as I have not done since I was a little girl. I watched terns take flight and imagined in my mind what their view from above was like. I have felt the tips of "my wings" get wet while following along with the pelicans. I have felt the fog--the fog felt me....I have teetered with turkey vultures in flight and watched red-tail hawks soar beyond my eyes capabilities and have still been with them! Fowler toads and american toads sang extra loud this year or am I just more tuned in? Instead of me trying to wind my eyes around the tree trying to see the red-headed woodpecker--he wound his around to see me. Face to face with a nashville warbler I was while a magnolia warbler sang above. I waded along side the skates and admired their graceful ways...I righted a horse shoe crab and helped her get back on her way and then I traveled with her in my mind for days! I picked up sea pansies as if from a field and felt the wonder of nature that was right at my heels. I looked down through the calm ocean waters and found big whelks. I seen the passions of mated terns and felt real honored to be in their world. Baby great horned owls discovered me....Flocks of cedar waxwings flew overhead and I noticed their oneness in their wispy calls. Colors were more vibrant and songs were well heard. The skies seemed bigger and deeper and the moons were deeper full. The smallest of sights were big in my eyes. Milkweed and butterfly weed have been loaded full. I watched the rushed pace of a big water beetle scurry away from the morning light. Last night the katydids began--marking the mark of a "certain" seasons end.
Observations that I made seemed so unreal but so feeling....open and one, vibrant and free, the smallest of counts all included and seen. This account of seeing could go on and on as that is how much I seen...I hope the summer of seeing never ceases to be.
Room 408...from room 408 I saw life...I felt life...From room 408 I encountered a great spiritual uplifting. From room 408 I watched, heard, absorbed the rhythms of life and set my own rhythm by it.
Room 408 was our ocean front room where we spent two days and nights before continuing further down the outer banks.
The first thing I did when we entered the room was open the balcony door, step out, and breath in deeply the ocean air. Refreshing! I sat out there endlesslly watching over and over the rolling waves and listening as the waves resonated off of my soul. The door stayed open as we slept and tried hard I did not to fall asleep as I did not want to miss a single wave. Several times through the night I would awaken to listen again and walk out on the balcony to feel the ocean night air. And as I opened my eyes in the morning I was greeted by the new day coming up over the ocean ~ and at night the day bid me farewell by the most magnificient rising and full moon over the ocean. The kind you see in picture books...the kind you see in your dreams.
From room 408 I seen the calmest of calm that I have ever seen the Atlantic ocean. With its calmness I encountered one of the most calmest and serene days of my life. We were in sync...
From room 408 I watched the sanderlings keeping stride with the remnants of the rollers. I found myself full of envy that I could not day after day follow the waves as they could. I long to be as free and as unencumbered as they are.
Yes, from room 408 I had views upon views...endless and stirring. Many times it became hard for me to just view--I had to go down and become part of the view. As I was in the view I looked back up at my room--my balcony with my spotting scope sitting there untended. I also looked around at the other rooms and seen others on their balconies taking in a view. In my mind I was urging them to come down also and become a part of it all. But then I realized...they were already a part of it...the picture was big and the realm of the ocean enveloped us all...mind, body, spirit. We were all drawn to these rooms to have a view of that which mostly cannot be seen. Mine just happened to be room 408.
On most days, at some point in time, we take a three mile walk. I call this walk my "solace walk". This is my me time, my quiet time. I find my peace from all worries and stresses of the day. I clear my mind and balance my harmony. Most of the walk is in silence as I take in the fresh air, the openness, the view of the clouds and blue sky. I take in the sun or no, the undulating hills whether they be covered in green, trees, corn, or snow--the undulations are the same but the view changes from day to day, season to season. I also take in the bird song around me. It changes also from morning to evening and also with the seasons. We see sun rises and sunsets, moon rises and we sometimes feel the rain. The elements all change too, but the solace I seek --it remains the same.
We see and hear beauty along the way -- we see big and we see small. We might covet over the gazoos of caterpillars taking the same walk as we, or we might stop and watch the stillness of a deer watching us. We watch turkeys display and rabbits play. We hear distant calls of bobwhite quail and see raccoons scurrying down the trail. We take in the sights of the flowers as they change through the seasons -- and the color! We pass "woodcock woods" and we pass by wooded areas and take in the songs of birds that visually elude us and hear scurries of other creatures unknown. Snakes sun themselves in the spring and we have assisted more than one box turtle crossing the road. I always look forward to hearing the "fitz-bew" of the willow flycatcher near our turn around point and the sights of the baltimore orioles along their "row". The orchard orioles and blue grosbeaks have their areas also. We watch a particular creek for the ebony jewelwing damselflies and the chipmunks along the tree line across the way. Yogi's "rocky falls" holds child like visions for us as we pass by. It is one of those dark and mysterious places where you want to wander, but do not dare! One of those places where fairies may lurk. The crickets chirping in the fall sound really "fall like" and sometimes lonely and melancholy. The jewel weed patch holds jewels to be sure!
We have seen triumphs and tragedies along the way. Life and death. Baby birds just out of the nest and critters who did not make it through the night. We have witnessed the passing of seasons. The songs change with the seasons bringing a total new life to our walk. No matter the changes though, peace and comfort are always there in the that same three changing miles...
On the Outer Banks of North Carolina there is this beach we know...We call it "Sea Glass Beach" because we have found some of our most beautiful sea glass pieces here including our only two pieces of purple. We could very well call this beach by many different names as it is a multi-faceted beach but yet so well intertwined in the most perfect way. As a beach should be...
For the most part it appears to be a secluded beach as we very seldom see any other people there. You can walk in either direction ~for hours~and never see another human being, but neither desolate or deserted is it ever. This beach appears to be in sync and in harmony with the world that seems to appear mostly just in mind. We know that when we cross over the dunes that we are the intruders here. For the many times that we have been there though I think that this beach is beginning to include us in that harmony as it now speaks to us as we stroll along. We are as one and at peace with this beach.
On a recent visit here I fully realized that. This particular stroll brought to me the most peace ever in my life. It was as if I could finally slow down to go with its pace, my eyes were suddenly opened and I seen things so much more plainly--simple things that had been there all along. I heard many whispers, gathered many secrets, and rejoiced in many revelations. I was one with this beach and was one with all of life. The birds spoke with me as if I was one of them ~and I understood. The waves caressed me and I felt loved. The sand made sculptures as the wind caressed it and natures most finest art was on display. Everything was here, everything was now. This was the moment.
When we first came over the dunes my breath was instantly taken as it seemed as if I was seeing, for the first time, the miles of white capped rollers lulling up on the beach. Perhaps it WAS really my FIRST time of SEEING. And I FELT it. The next thing that was really striking to me was the large, very large, flotilla of brown pelicans with more joining them as we watched. I was mesmerized by the busyness of this flock. After the last one landed, the first one took flight and one after another they all followed suit creating a long line of wave skimmers. The line undulated as the waves rose, rolled, and fell. The pelicans were thoroughly enjoying the ride and were totally synchronized with one another. All in harmony.
As we walked down the beach I got caught up in the great numbers of sanderlings that were scurrying along. The whole length of our walk were sanderlings by our side. Keeping us company and keeping in time to the rythyms that were here--all heart. These are the kind of wave runners that I like! They are energetic busy bodies. They are highly driven at everything they do. Even at going to take a nap. We watched a flock scurry quickly up the beach, congregate and lie in a close knit circle--facing the wind...always. Restless they were or wanted a new view as one by one each bird would get up only to walk a few steps forward to settle in front of the next bird--on and on the sanderling shuffle went and the napping congregation itself was walking as a whole. Do they ever truly rest? True beach combers they are and my mind goes as fast as their legs go as I wonder about the beaches they have covered.
This beach and all of its completeness totally enveloped me on this day. And with each new step my eyes, my heart, and my soul opened up and welcomed the completeness, vitality, and life that this environment was lending me. And just when I thought all was complete, here came another facet of the beach. At a distance I could see a big black flock of flight coming nearer and nearer to shore. The immensity of this flight was incredible. Cormorants...hundreds and hundreds of cormorants...a pelican for its leader and two pelicans for the tail end charlies. Cormorants...a common enough bird--but put them into a flight this thick and out over an ever-wandering, ever life-giving ocean and you get a whole new wonder for them! The beauty was in numbers and the not knowing from what never-land they just came from and which one they were going too.
Terns zipped by and over in scattered numbers. Their voices lent to the wildness of ocean life and beauty. This is how its supposed to sound...Ruddy turnstones wandered by and willets casually meandered. Black bellied plovers were present also. This place is well known to the birds also...here they find peace.
This beach spoke volumes with me that day. It showed me what was right and what was real. I FELT it---I felt the harmony. It showed me how life should be~uncomplicated, beautiful, and all in harmony. There was a full circle here--there is no doubt. No need too. The sheer numbers of life here told the whole story. This was by no means a desolate beach--quite the opposite. It is a beach of life! I hope nature will always have its spaces and places like this for lifes sake!
A spring just would not be spring without the chimney swifts. A summer would not be complete without being able to see the trio flights and listening to their twittering chatter and a fall just does not wind down until you watch a funneling mass of migrating swifts go to roost in a chimney. In the winter I often reflect back on the chimney swifts prescence as I look up into a bare and naked sky. The winter skies just seem so void of life sometimes. Chimney swifts just seem to knit together the seasons as they spastically and erratically zip around.
I sit here now, watching the swifts, having much to say about them but yet struggling for the words that sum them up without sounding like a text book. I think the swifts are, for me, all heart and a wisp of a soul and sometimes that is just hard to dictate into words.
I adore the chimney swifts. They are a sign and a symbol for me of many things, but mainly for the vibrance of life...not in physical color but in all emotions and praise on high! I anxiously await their arrival in the spring which for here at home is around April 22. I keep my eyes to the sky but to no avail because it is usually my ears that detect their prescence first....and more often it comes to me like a memory until my eyes become firm on the vision. And although I know my ears can be trusted when it comes to this "angelic whisper", there is something sweet about the memory of a song.
To briefly sum up the heart and wisp of a soul of a chimney swift in my sparse and human vocabulary is to say that I adore its ever-seemingly happy and thankful moods, I adore its energy, I adore its passion, and I adore the way it connects to my heart and soul, the way it grabs it and does not let go. Wherever I am at, whatever I am doing--the chimney swift will always grab my attention! I am thankful for this "life is grand--don't let it slip by--take the time--live for the moment" opportunity. It is a life lesson.
The swift is the epitomy of summer--it completes it, makes it whole. The swift reaks of summer and of life~ of all life! I am struggling here for the words~ I feel it all swelled and bulging in my heart and the feelings overflow through my vision when I watch them, but alas~I think I have found an emotion which has no spelling, one that has no description or physical being. It is a prescence only...A bird of feeling only. A prescence among the ether world that slips into our reality....
Birds speak myriads to people...They speak of beauty, of music, of freedom, vividness and color. They speak of all feelings felt but un-expressable in our human ways. Some even speak of mystery and mysticism. And all is spoken through the heart. The messages that are heard are as varied as the people themselves. There is much to be seen, heard, and learned through the many different eyes, minds, and thoughts of even the simple people.
On a recent trip to the coast we spent many very windy days at the beach. Some days it was so windy that I felt like the Lord must be angry at us, but then I thought of these two bible verses: "He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the water, who makes the clouds his chariot, who walks on the winds of the wind..." (Ps 104:3) and "He causes His wind to blow and the waters flow..." (Ps 147:18). Perhaps the wind was not in anger, but more of a way to get us to notice more of the surroundings and to see how true our love of the ocean was. Were we going to tuck tail and run from the stinging sands that were sand blasting our legs as we walked the beach, or were we going to stay and endure yet another mood of the ocean? We love the ocean...we stayed...we endured...and we were blessed with the sights of many wonders and left with feelings of awe and feelings that have to be felt because they cannot be expressed in words.
About mid week I awoke early to the sound of nothing more than the laughing gulls speaking to me. The wind had laid down and all was calm. Just like that. The clouds were also laying low and heavy. With the sun shining in our hearts we headed to Ramp 44. We just barely arrived on the point when it started to sprinkle. Sprinkles turned into a light rain as we scoured the beach for gifts and found several nice whelks. We continued on down the beach to arrive at the spot where we had been squatting all week. It was the meeting place of the terns and the gulls with others dotted in. There were four species of terns, three species of gulls, dunlins, ruddy turnstones, willets, sanderlings, black-bellied plover, piping plover, and semi-palmated plovers. Making an appearance from time to time were the american oystercatchers. We had been observing this group all week--by slowing down and spending time with them, they spoke much to us. At times we felt like one of the crowd as they let us enter their world and into their personal lives. We watched their comings and goings. We listened to their conversations and watched their passions and fury towards each other. We learned quite a bit that week by living a simple life and opening our minds and hearts. We listened as they spoke to us.
It was not long before the rain began pelting down. We retreated to the truck with our binoculars and scope and continued our observations from there. The waves seemed to be showing some discontent as they rolled in harder and stronger. And yet the terns continued to sit--seemingly content for the time being--facing into the wind~always into the wind. It rained for about an hour and we continued watching from inside the truck--watching the birds, watching the waves, watching a mood of the ocean. As it started slowing down our visibility improved so we moved our observations back outside. The rain had moved on, the skies were still heavy and a thin wavering fog moved in. Thin and a bit eerie it seemed to have a voice of its own. And we listened. And suddenly~seemingly out of nowhere there were two black-necked stilts and a whimbrel! After having been there all morning watching the birds it seemed as magical as it was mysterious, that these birds seemed to suddenly appear from the fog and was standing in amongst the other birds trying to blend in. Being the striking birds that they are it was hard for them to blend in as they towered over the others. They became mystic birds to me as I wondered where did they suddenly appear from? Were they migrating and get caught up in the squall and come in with the rain? Did they magically appear out of the fog? Their beauty combined with this sudden appearance spoke the "myriads" alone to me that day. We watched them for quite awhile and even tried to photograph them~the fog seemed to keep obstructing the view as if it did not want that air of mysticism to fade from us. I do not think it ever will. The day, the moment, the memory is etched in my mind. It will always remain magical. But, being etched as it was I had to take one more look before I left...and don't you know they were gone. Just as mysteriously as they appeared from nowhere...they disappeared in the same way. Was it real? Oh yes, It was real!
I can honestly say that I have a "true" and "meaningful" appreciation of all in nature. The seen and un-seen, the rare and the common. I can sit in my back yard and truly enjoy the comings and the goings of an American robin, a Northern cardinal, and a Blue jay. Very colorful birds to be sure, but still very common birds. Sometimes being "common" makes a creature too under appreciated by many. No fault to the critter, but out of habit by man we tend to take so much for granted the things we have much of~thinking that they will always be there. But is is actually amazing of what we can still learn by just observing the "most common". Take the Common grackle for instance...Here is a bird that is a bane to many people...why? Because it is so numerous? Because is is just a black and drab bird? Because it does not sing a pretty song? Well, open your eyes, your mind, and your heart~do some old fashioned observing of this bird-learn to appreciate some of the qualities that we hold in high esteem in the human world that are also found in the avian world.
Starting with looks...I do think the Common grackle is a pretty bird. A simple and elegant black~a high lustre black~with a purplish lustre sheen on its head. Check out its fashionable tail~a fine cut and nothing but style. And pride...note the pride in the stride of this bird. A strut if you will! Confidence! A shimmer of arrogance may seem to surface, but look deeper...you can actually find a truly caring and dedicated bird here~a bird that sometimes has worry but never gives up. I know-I am pretty anthropomorphic and John Burroughs would by cringing right now if he could read these words, BUT, there has to be more than just instinct here. Many unforseen tragedies occur in the lives of birds everyday. I just do not think they could hold all the "just instincts" within them to deal and face with each individual happening every day!
Over the years I have seen many things that have become endearing to me. One of these events just happened to involve a Common grackle.
On a night quite a few years ago a severe thunderstorm rolled through...a real toad strainer. The rain was intense, there was frequent lightning and thunder and the winds rocked the trees...a full fledged thunderstorm. By morning though the skies were clear and the sun shined. All was refreshed and re-newed. I opened my windows and let the fresh and clean air in. All that day I heard the squawking of baby birds--hungry baby birds. I did not think much of it because it was the time of year. This squawking was consistent though and went on the whole entire day. Several times when I walked past the window and looked out I did see a grackle pacing on the ground in the yard across the street. It was always there the several times that I looked out. I do not know how many trips past the window I took before I realized that this grackle was pacing around a nest that was on the ground. The nest had fallen from the large cedar tree the night before in the storm. I then realized that this was where all the squawking was coming from. I decided to take a closer look--I crossed the street and went to the nest and the calling was getting louder. I turned over the nest and was absolutely amazed when I found two half grown baby grackles calling out profusely and the third one lying dead. All day long these nestlings had been crying out with their hunger and all day long the parent bird listened to this, in distress, and tried with all it had to feed and care for its young, but not being able to get to them. It had paced around the nest all day! A devoted parent it was though-never giving up and calling back to reassure the young birds. I instantly, at that moment, found a whole new respect for this bird! I picked the nest up with the young and put it up in the highest crotch of the cedar tree that I could reach. Before I could even get back across the street the adult bird was already at the nest feeding these famished babies. It did not take long at all for this grackle to find the new placement of the nest after being on the ground all day with it. I kept up with the young for the next week and they did fledge from the nest okay.
This simple and small observation gave me a whole new appreciation for this bird that not many are fond of. It gave me a new perspective towards it and taught me some other simple lessons to apply in my own life. One of Gods simple beings--winged beings--a simple lesson indeed. We just need to be observant of all life around us, to take the time, and see through to the qualities...May we never take any of life for granted!
How absolutely amazing it is that in such an abrasive, rough and tumble world, such as the Atlantic ocean, that such beauty and elegance washes up upon its shores. The forms of beauty are endless and character abounds! There is also a bit of irony in this beauty. It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...let me tell you what I see.
In the ocean are some of the worlds most beautiful life forms. Here you find grace, color, flowing movement and shape. Here you find elegance. The beauty is diverse. Jellyfish, anemones, corals, fish, sea pansies and the list goes on and on. There are beautiful shells with such eye shattering color, pattern, design, texture, and some of the inhabitants that live inside are just as colorful as the shells themselves. They are Gods artwork and sometimes it is hard to imagine why some of these beautiful creatures are hidden under the water, mostly hidden from our eyes. But beauty need not always be flaunted...with the glimpses of it that we get, with the conditions and forms that washes up...it is enough for our eyes. Sometimes it is just the knowing that is enough.
Here is where some of the irony comes in. A shell and its inhabitant--perfect and beautiful-- lives in its watery world. As time goes on it ages and ageing as we all do we get bumps, bruises, scars...we fade, we wrinkle, we get flawed. We get flawed from time and age, from experience, from our environment, we get flawed from living.
We die and so does the inhabitant in the shell. The shell remains. Although our "shell" is buried and never seen again--the inhabitants shell goes on a lot of times. It may get used by another critter--a crab in most cases. He adds more flawing and character to it. Then he also dies. This recycling and sharing could go on for any number of years and in between this shell gets tossed around, beaten up, eaten up and then spit out, the abrasive sand and sea water takes its toll on the shells beauty and at some point in time the ocean itself spits it out and tosses it up on a beach somewhere. Perhaps hundreds of miles from where it first started. A beach comber comes along and revels in finding this shell--not perfect by far--its color faded, it has a few holes and a couple of chips, but it was Gods gift and the oceans gift that at this very moment it washed up at the feet of this beach lover. A fortuitous meeting. It has character and beauty of time and use...you can still see a hint of its young and original beauty. In many ways comparable to how our own human bodies react to our environs. And such is life. One realizes that beauty can be much deeper than just outside appearances. We appreciate the unseen qualities.
Walking along a little further one might come across a piece of sea glass. It may be white, green, blue, or amber...If real lucky, ruby red. As I find a piece of this I walk along holding it in my hand, reveling at its beauty, curious of its age and origins, and awe-struck at how this piece of refuse was not an original inhabitant here, but claimed by the ocean after someone forced it upon it. The ocean took it in and gave to it the same treatment that it gives all of its inhabitants. But instead of it washing up all rough, tumbled, aged looking, and broken, it washed up in its most beautiful form ever--even more beautiful than what it originally was! Just opposite of us! It washed up frosted and smooth to the touch and one cannot help but to continually rub over this piece and caress it. Its colors are made subtle and soft--it gives off a romantic aura. God has taken in something unwanted by man--has loved it and caressed it~unconditionally~and gave it back to us in a form that we-mere humans- can now see through enough to appreciate. There is mystery and intrigue to sea glass also-we have no idea where this piece of glass came from--was it pitched over by some dis-respecting person on a boat or a ship? Was it at one time a message in a bottle? And from how far away and how long ago? No matter now...for now it has been turned into beauty..naturally.
I find it ironic how a natural and beautiful inhabitant of the sea goes through its life--rarely seen by human eyes--in its most glorious form. Then by the time we see it, after it washes up somewhere, its outer beauty has mostly faded. We are forced to seek inner beauty. And then you have an old, man-made glass bottle that some person left behind. The ocean claims it as her own~shapes and molds it and gives it back to us in its most beautiful and perfect form~now one of nature. There is much to be said here regarding inner and outer beauty, of nature, of how God takes care of us. Of what he is showing us and teaching us.
The pictures above are treasures, shells and sea glass, that we found on some of our forays to the outer banks.
Spring is the time of year when the sun comes back into our lives. It warms our air, our hearts, our souls, and thoughts. It renews us. It gives us new spiritual growth and it is a time to feel blessed. Blessed to be facing and enjoying a new season.
This awakening comes around to me with the sunshine. Seeing the suns rays and feeling its warmth - It is like a hug from God. The birds feel this hug also as they start tuning up and singing. Although there are several birds that are tuning up, there is one that shines out more loudly than the rest...and I think this is simply from it singing so loudly, triumphantly, consistantly, first and last.
Yes, first and last. This is the time of year when I can open my bedroom window and sleep with the new spring air covering me like a blanket. It is soothing, soft, and relaxing. Early in the morning --before the sun has visibly risen to us it has already risen in the heart of the robin. And the rejoicing starts slowly. It is as if there is a leader. You will hear a clip-it of song in the dark, then silence. Then another clip-it will break in and then another. After a time robin after robin follows suit and it is soon a cacaphony of song. To lay there and just listen puts one in a wonderland -- not sure if this is the real world or heaven. It is refreshing to the mind and heart. The way every day should begin...
And then evening comes. The sun begins to set lower and lower in the sky. And as this occurs the myriad of songsters goes down with it...one at a time. In the end there is but one who is reluctant to let the day go and that is the robin. And as they ushered the sun in, they usher it out...with song. The cacaphony of song starts out at its peak and slowly one robin at a time drops out for the night until there is but one lone singer left. And he too will finally stop and rest. This cacaphony is just the opposite of the morning glory. But whether its the morning cacaphony or the evening cacaphony it is all so glorious. And so the day ends just as it began. Full of song...full of glorious song. Full of glory....
My daddy loved the birds~he had a special fondness for Bobwhite quail (hence my moms nickname of squab) and Northern cardinals. As a kid I was able to whistle loudly and he used to coax me often into "whistling like a red-bird". And he would get a big kick out of hearing me and another cardinal duet back and forth. I remember well a day when we took him with us to the forest to check our bluebird boxes and seeing his eyes light up and that smile on his face when he seen those baby bluebirds! This came at a point near the end of his life when he found it hard to find things to smile about.
My daddy loved the birds~and quite a few years before he even got sick I asked my daddy to build me a screech owl box for my yard. I supplied all the plans. He lovingly and eagerly built that box for me and proud of it he was. After checking into the proper placement of a screech owl box I realized that I did not have the adequate requirements in my yard. Although in years past we did see Screech owls in the neighborhood. So there the nest box sat--in a corner in my garage. Years went by and still it sat. Every now and then he would ask me if I ever got it up. Shamefully I would tell him no.
Two years had gone by since my dad passed away and still that box sat in my garage. It was fast becoming one of those sentimental items that sits on a shelf and builds memories. Some good, but other feelings were of guilt for never getting the box up before he died. He would have loved to have seen his box up. It was something that he was proud of. And then one day~~ he spoke to me. My sister-in-law, Sue, told me about her and her husband, Dave, coming home one evening to see a small screech owl just sitting in the middle of their rock lane. They sat there looking at this tiny red owl in the glowing beam of their head lights until it flew off. As they enjoyed watching this little denizen it did not dawn on them until the next day that this little owl could possibly be a homeless owl after they had a dead and hollow snag removed from their wooded yard. They continued seeing the owl for the next couple of days. We decided then that this owl was indeed in need of a home. And I just happened to have one.
I explained to Sue the story of the owl box--of how it came about, why it did not get used, how guilty I felt about it, how it became a sentimental item, and now, NOW it was time to GIVE this box up and GET it up and give this owl a home!
The little red Screech owl did not waste much time in settling in to its new home! Within a few days the little red owl could be seen at certain times of the day sitting in the opening of its new home--sunning itself and checking out the neighbors. All was right with this owls world!
My dad spoke to me through this little creature of Gods~the Screech owl. I think he understood why it did not get put up and he showed me the way, the area, and the little owl that needed this home. He sent this little Screech owl to me! He helped me to heal a wound and make things right. He showed me the way through a medium we both loved~the birds. The birds have been a bond between us for years~in the living years. And even now through the spiritual world we maintain this bond. He has now been gone for three years.
Walking along the beach with my mind and body completely at ease and with peace many thoughts, wanderings, and musings come to mind.
I see and meet many people here. We have all been drawn to this same place by the same special love of the sea--for its healing, peace of mind, and for its beauty. It is a place that is etched in our souls for our eternity. We not only take the ocean home with us, we also leave a part of ourselves with the ocean. We, in turn, become a part of the oceans eternity.
Walking along and seeing the many footprints in the sand I am drawn to notice the many shapes and sizes of the prints, some deep in the sand and others shallow--a mark left no doubt though. I walk in these same foot steps trying them on for size and noting how many paths and different walks of life are crossing here.
We have each left our mark here. We have all converged here together on this beach just as each and every grain of sand here has also converged here from many places. And as we all part again to go our separate ways--so too shall the grains of sand part and go their separate ways also, only to end up maybe on the ocean floor and again, at some point in time to wash back up on an ocean beach somewhere. The foot prints that we have left in the sand may remain there for hours or for days depending on wind and tide. Others are short lived as they meet the ocean waves immediately and all visible traces of them are erased. As the grains of sand are ancient, and they part and come back together again, so too will our foot prints will always remain somewhere in these sands of time. One wonders about the early seafarers and if perhaps their feet have also sifted through these same sands. In some far fetched way in my mind we are all seafarers traveling with the current in the form of a grain of sand that we have touched. Amazing that so many of us can all touch the same single grain of sand.
My minds wandering is doubly intrigued by the foot prints of the birds. Many of these birds are migrants at points throughout the year. As they lift off for points unknown to us how many of their own foot prints must they pass over--taking the short circuit through the skies and over the gyre and then meeting up with them again on some other distant beach.
My musings might be far fetched and theories never proven but I figure in a lot of faith in here also.
The prints you see here and the prints you see being made here were done in September 2009. They were placed at my "soul place" on the point of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The time we spent here together is forever imprinted on our hearts and well as on the sand.