Seasons of Me!

"A glimpse into the life of a birder, beach comber, self taught naturalist, an antique dealer, and junker! There are many seasons that happen here!"

Monday, February 22, 2010


I truly credit my love of nature (as a whole) to my parents. That has never been a mystery to me. My love for the birds was nurtured in me early on by my father. The bobwhite quail and the cardinal were key birds. My love for the ocean and marine environment were a mystery to me...until my mom cleaned out a closet. I now know that my mother instilled this love in me years ago.

From 1985 to 1992 I lived on the coast of North Carolina. When Tommy got out of the Marine Corp and we moved back home to Indiana I told him then that a part of me would never come home. For various reasons, but the ocean being one of them. Every year now, at least once--sometimes twice, we make a trek to the beach. There we find peace, some serenity, and there I find myself. And no, truly, all of me never came home.

We pick up shells, coral, sea glass and other treasure finds. We take in and are fascinated by the fish, the dolphins, crabs, sea cucumbers, jellyfish, and all of the ocean life that it brings into us. Every aspect of the ocean and surrounding habitat are appreciated and absorbed. I adore sea glass--I am astounded by the beauty of what was first discarded as refuse and then tumbled into ocean beauty. I am also fascinated by sea beans. By their travels, where they originated from and by the forces and paths they took to get here. I thought my first encounter with them was on South Padre Island, Texas when I found a thick-banded mucuna and a sea heart. But no, this was not my first encounter...

Back to my moms closet! Recently she went on a cleaning binge in one of her closets--nothing was safe. Secrets were uncovered, found was lost, and lost was found--including my first and original love for the ocean that my mother gave to me!

Back in the 1970's we went on a trip to Florida over our Christmas break. My grandparents wintered over there every year and we went to visit them. This was my first ever experience with the ocean. I must have been 11 or 12 years old.

Out of the closet my mother found my treasure that I picked up on the beach. Everything you would expect a 11 year old to pick up. Pieces, parts, and shards of shells and...what is this?? A piece of sea glass! And a sea bean! No, this was obviously not a new found love for me! Apparently those finds spoke to me as a kid--spoke loudly enough for me to pick them up and add them to my treasure of seashells. And that love and fascination has sat in me idle....idle all the while when I was growing up, going through my teen years with so many other important things to do. The love sat waiting...patiently waiting...never giving up on me and the day when I would return. Return to childhood, return to my true self, a coming of me.

Mothers help daughters find themselves in various ways and give them many gifts that last a lifetime. My mother gave me the sea. Thank you mom for hording my shells all those years...thank you for giving me the sea!

The picture above is my mom on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in September 2009 among the sea oats. She has her own love within her!

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