A rock captures my attention on a lonely beach sunrise morning.
Sunrise June 17, 2017
I’ve been down for the count since last year – struck down in October and all fourth quarter by excruciating neck pain, followed by “migrating arthritis” (which is a thing), and finally, finally in May received a diagnosis and medication. Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s in the base of my neck and in my wrists and hands. The medications are making a huge difference! They do cause some side effects but the results are so worth it. For awhile I couldn’t use my hands, hold my camera and the days I could hold it I couldn’t feel the buttons! Anything with weight gave me fits so my husband would have to lift pots and pans, open jars, anything that required strength in my hands. What a crazy thing. Crazy thing. Physical therapy saved my life and sanity and I just graduated from that and have hired a personal trainer. I’m relieved and happy! I feel MUCH better and I’m beginning to get out once again with my camera. Slowly, though. The new meds do not like the heat and sunshine so I’m taking it slow and just going out occasionally as I feel up to it. So, I’m back! Mostly! Fair warning!
Lining our sidewalk at the lake were Virginia Sweetspire, lovely native shrubs beloved by all manner of butterflies and bees, praying mantis and spiders. One chilly morning in autumn I went out to find gulf fritillaries clinging to dangling seedpods waiting for the sun to come out. Chilled, they were captive for my lens. I must plant more Virginia Sweetspire. They colonize so do be careful where you plant them. They love moist soils and are perfect for stream beds, ponds and creeks and help control erosion. They are also stunningly beautiful in the spring with long white floral tassels.
Fort Fisher 2015
One morning I woke early enough to grab camera, dog and coffee and drove down to the end of the island for a different perspective. Sunrises are normally just a walk across the street for me. While fun, it can get predictable. How silly! Predictable sunrises! How spoiled am I?!
Just as Baylee and I pulled up into the empty parking lot another car pulled up as well. Damn, I thought. Solitude is my morning meditation. Baylee is my only exception this day and now I have to share this moment with someone else. No help for it I leash Baylee, sling my camera over my shoulder and head off onto the path.
Walking past the other car a lady exited her vehicle, her own dog leashed and ready for a walk. We stop and laugh, and let our dogs get acquainted. She also has a camera. She also was looking for solitude.
Instead of solitude we both made a new friend. Heidi hails from New York and was a first responder on 9/11. She lives at the beach now, her lungs nearly destroyed by the fumes and harsh chemicals she breathed in on that fateful day. We shared tears and stories, she more than me, and at the end we hugged and vowed to always stay in touch. We do, too. We have different politics but that will never stop us from being friends. Well, I say “friends,” but that as you know is always a work in progress. We are Becoming. And it’s all because we put aside our quest for solitude aside and shared our morning “space,” embracing the opportunity. The photo above is one I shot that morning.
There’s no moral to this story. It’s just a story. One of millions and millions around the world. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met in person and online for you help me grow. All of you, each of you, individually and collectively you help me grow.
“It is not light that we need, but fire;
it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.
We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
I feel a storm a’coming. This political climate is creating the Perfect Storm for unrest, resistance, change. The people have become apathetic which has allowed a fox (or foxes) into the henhouse. This administration want to destroy our institutions. They want to destroy the EPA, Education, health care, our rights – everything that makes us a civilized country. Stand up for our environment. Stand up for our planet. Stand up for the People. ALL of the people. I’m weary of being silent. Wake up.
“Those who profess to favor freedom,
and yet depreciate agitation,
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”
I kept my daughter’s college literature book. It’s just like mine when I was in college, only better because it now contains works by Native Americans, black women and more black men. We need their voices, we need all voices. Frederick Douglass is enjoying a moment of revitalization in this Black History Month. I wonder what he would say about the internal coup happening in our government and the grand marches of resistance around the world. He’d probably be out there leading the way. So here’s to you, Frederick Douglass.
Too much drama on TV these days. This is the kind of drama I prefer. Sunrise with a soft sea, soft colors yet rain falling from a lone cloud. Breathe in, breathe out.
“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”
Today: I deny the tension in my body the rights to my soul.
It shall be exorcised, this tension, and I will rise triumphant.
It just make take some time and practice.
Bear with me.