Nature’s Truths

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Sand reclaims steps to the beach

Last spring the beach underwent an intensive, and extensive, beach renewal program.  For months a huge barge floated offshore piping sand collected from the ocean bed onto the beach.  A herd of bulldozers carved massive pools in the beaches into which the sand was pumped out of massive black pipes.  Dark brown ocean sand blew high into the sky out of the wide open mouths.  That sand mixed with sea water filled the holes and seabirds swirled overhead, stood in streams and audaciously plucked stunned blood worms and mollusks and fishes out of the fray, screaming with delight.  It was carnage. 

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Sand, dollar weed and fence

This is common practice along shorelines.  It’s not just here.  Man wants to build as close to the ocean as possible.  However, doing so they threaten the very environment within which they want to live.  They threaten their own homes, their own businesses.  Dunes and sea oats and dollarweed and a gazillion native beach plants are there for a reason.  They protect.  And, even with them Nature will not be denied.  Beaches change naturally.  Ebb and flow.  Nature reclaims its Sacred Space.

ImageBuild your houses if you wish and plan grand steps to take you to the beach, but this is what happens.  It’s inevitable.  The beach was “renourished” less than a year ago to the tune of over 5 million dollars and already that sand is gone.  It’s gone.  Only now are the shells beginning to return and the beach has returned to the shape we found it in when we moved here – undulating and steeper.  That’s the way it wants to be. 

ImageLast spring, after the barges and pipes and bulldozers finally left the beach I went to the beach to sit, to walk, to experience what they’d done.  The beach had easily tripled in depth and was flatter, sloping nicely out into the sea.  The disconcerting part to me was the knowledge that I was sitting on Sacred Ground.  The smell was that of decomposing sea creatures, and that odor lasted for weeks.  As the unrelenting ocean waves began tearing into the new sand I found during my morning walks the shells of lightning whelks, channel whelks, moon snails, lettered olives – shells that were thick enough to survive the trauma of being sucked off the ocean floor, rushed through thousands of feet of piping and thrown into the air.  The creatures within them were not so lucky.

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Unnatural cliffs of sand gradually eroding, going back to the sea

As the beach recovers the district is already planning the next renourishment.  Apparently, this is done every 3 years, give or take.  I am not looking forward to it. 

North Carolina Azalea Festival

ImageSpring officially begins for me with the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina.

I’m not a huge fan of large events.

However, azaleas are blooming everywhere in this town and surrounding gardens!

Colors bright and vivid that make me happy!

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2013 was a rough year for the azaleas thanks to numerous storms and cold weather.

Tulips planted at Airlie Gardens brought color to help accentuate the azaleas, live oaks and sweeping greenery.

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Azaleas in more protected areas grew tall, creating floral hallways leading to lakes, benches and arbors.

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In this image you can see the new, bright green live oak leaves peeking through Spanish moss.

The pollen is incredible.

My black car is now greenish yellow.

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My favorite place to sit and think.

A sacred pine tree resides here.

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Airlie Gardens is a small garden with easy walks through historic grounds.

A sweet place to be.

Live Oaks of Airlie Gardens

ImageThis weekend Wilmington, North Carolina, will be celebrating their annual Azalea Festival.

Last year I unwittingly went to Airlie Gardens in Wilmington during the festival.

Normally, I avoid crowds, preferring to soak up the peace and beauty in the quiet.

I wasn’t paying attention.

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To my surprise the crowds were few and respectful of space.

Yes, I took photos of the azaleas and tulips.

But the live oaks draped in Spanish moss captivated me.

Most oaks here are hundreds of years old.

The Airlie Oak is over 400 years old.

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Live oaks are evergreen.

They shed their leaves twice a year as new leaves randomly shove off old leaves.

The transition is always green.

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Live oaks have enchanted the South for centuries.

They are one of my favorite trees.

Spirituality

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“You have to grow from the inside out.

None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.

There is no other teacher but your own soul.”

Swami Vivekananda

 

Today: Working on my Spirituality.

 

The ocean, its waves and winds and moods, have become a meditative labyrinth.

Here, I practice deep breathing and vanishing negative thoughts, focusing on positivity and good health.

Gratitude

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“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea,

and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds,

cleanses me with its noise,

and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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I’ve been bewildered and challenged and exhausted of late, all in another state

far, far from my beach.

I survived.

I returned.

I walked the sunrise and breathed in new life to my tired cells.

Today, I am thankful, grateful, for this place to which I can return and renew Myself.

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Like this beach fence I’ve been through a storm and survived,

tested and proven to be strong enough.

Strong enough.

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Each of us must find our Safe Haven to which we can return,

plug in and recharge.

This is mine.

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Breathe it in.

Today, working on Gratitude.