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, April 19, 2010

~Beauty Seen and Un-Seen~

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 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 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.

Monday, April 12, 2010

~ Glorious Song ~

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 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....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

~~An Angel in the Form of an Owl ~~

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.
Yes, my daddy loved the birds~and still does....