Month: November 2013

The Jellyfish

The Jellyfish

It was an incredibly day for fishers of all types. The bluefish were running. Bait fish were fleeing them and larger fish were pursuing the bluefish, as were the pelicans and gulls above and humans onshore. It was quite a show. In the end, these jellies washed ashore. They look like moon jellies but I’m not certain. I was going for “artistic” with the photo instead of identification purposes, but maybe someone can tell me for certain.

Being Mindful

Being Mindful

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” (Dalai Lama)

We are all connected. People to earth, earth to butterfly, butterfly to rhino, rhino to the moon and on and on and on. We are all dependent on the health of our planet – our home. Sometimes, when I am meditating and feel the reality of it all, I feel hopeless. But after returning back to the world the shade is drawn again and I feel more positive. Each of us must find a way to make a slight difference in their world. I work towards that every day. While I generally fall short of my goals I console myself by saying I’m at least mindful, and that I’m trying. However, as the wise Yoda says…”Don’t try…DO.” Yes, Yoda….

Gratitude

Image“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”  (Melanie Beattie)

I am forever grateful, thankful for my family and friends each of who contribute to my life in their own unique and wonderful way.  Embrace this holiday, and every day, with gratitude.

Salt Marsh

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Just beyond the dunes you see above lie the Atlantic Ocean.  On the other side of me not a mile away is the Cape Fear River.  I am standing on a narrow patch of salt marsh lined with maritime forest.  A boardwalk path winds its way through sand and marsh ending at a bird and nature observation deck.  From here I can see ibis, herons and egrets.  I hear rails and woodcocks but never see them.  Hawks and eagles glide high overhead while ducks feed in the shallows.  The only noise is the wind.  This is a sacred place.

Reflections

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It’s all in how you see things….

Recently, we shared our home with two friends; Bo from Wisconsin stayed one week followed by Al from Texas who stayed the following week.

Early in Al’s visit he and I walked the beach looking for shark’s teeth and treasures.  He remarked that the beach isn’t his favorite place because it never changes.  Imagine my surprise.  Our friend is an avid explorer with a remarkable curiosity that I admire.  All environments change daily, minutely, assuredly.  Because I photograph this beach on a weekly, sometime daily basis I have never been disappointed by its diversity of mood.  Our amazing earth delights me – desert, prairie, river, sea …. meadow, mountain, forest, canyon … grassland, farmland, tundra, rainforest.  This planet changes daily, either minutely or in grand ways.  The trick is to sit still and notice, appreciate them all for what they are without judgement.  Al has documented incredible beauty in Texas with the promise to introduce me to the luscious diversity of his environment when we visit.  I am really looking forward to seeing his world. 

The week before our Texas friend arrived we had the pleasure of hosting one of my Wisconsin blogging friends for a week.  Bo, a remarkable woman and incredible nature photographer – had shared with me through our many animated conversations her thoughts on taking that first shot in the wilds.  First, she sits quietly until the buzz and hum of nature creeps into her soul.  She listens for birds and insects and the cracks and snaps of nature.  She smells the air for subtle scents.  She journals her feelings about the place and how it makes her feel.  She begins to look closely at her surroundings, noticing the light, angles, shapes, geometry and colors.  Only then does she consider her first shot. That, my friends, blew me away. I often simply begin clicking just because it’s there without actually noticing what’s before me.  That sounds odd, but its true.  Five years ago I found Bo’s blog skimming the blogroll of another friend.  Its title caught my attention – Seeded Earth.  Well, that is just so “me.”  Over time we have become fast friends – soul friends. 

Certain people have a gift for truly living and seeing our world in all its glory.  Bo and Al’s visits freshened my vision of my beach and its various habitats – maritime forest, salt marsh, brackish river, ocean and sand – and I fell in love with it all over again.  Al eventually saw the beauty of salt marsh and beach after a week of “immersion therapy.”  He left here refreshed and fully appreciative of the beauty of this place.  Thank you my Texas and Wisconsin friends for your wisdom and your forever friendship – you both bring such joy into my life.  Each of you in your own way reassures me, accepts me, lifts me up and teaches me new appreciation for the blessings before me.