Month: May 2014

I’ll Be Back

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I must away to immediately see about a family issue.

Afterward, I head overseas on an Adventure!

Blogging may or may not occur,

depending upon my skill level with remote devices

and available WiFi.

However, when I return the end of May/first of June

you will be inundated with images

from Scotland

and countless stories of me and my bestie

on our Grand Adventure!

You’ve been warned.

In the meantime please enjoy this,

my favorite beach image,

or one of them, anyway.

Breathe it in.

I’ll be back.

Empathy

ImageSkirts of Angels (C) 2005 by Debi Bradford

 

“Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell. 

Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”

Bonnie Raitt

 

I love Bonnie Raitt; her music, her spirit, her Life wisdom, her strength.  Her words resonate with me this morning.  Everyone has something going on in their lives.  Cancer, mental anguish, physical challenges, family difficulties, terrible work environment, something.  One affliction may be more awful than another but unless you are RIGHT THERE IN THEIR SPACE, one cannot judge, one cannot pooh-pooh their condition. 

Enter empathy.  My goal in Life, daily, is to be empathetic.  Listen to the other person.  Open my heart.  LISTEN and actually hear them.  Imagine myself in their place.  Do not add to their angst but flow with them like water in a rocky brook. 

Not just people but also the animals, Earth’s creatures, and the Earth herself.  Be empathetic to the trees and water.  FEEL the Earth.  Literally lie down on her surface and caress her grasses, grab hands full of soil and smell it, cup water in your hands and let it spill back to its source.  Release creatures from your homes – do not automatically kill a snake or spider for they, too, have their purpose on this Earth.  Be empathetic.  Be more than yourself.  This is my goal. 

There are people here in the blogging world who have so much knowledge.  I am forever grateful for this place, this space, within which I learn so much.  Thank you all for sharing so much of yourselves here. 

 

About the photo:  2005 at Wheeler Lake, North Alabama.  A wide spot along the Tennessee River where I lived at that time.   I had just gotten my new Canon 20D and was busy exploring the world of digital photography.  My home office overlooked the river.  Always an early riser I was up well before dawn.  I couldn’t see anything for the fog but once the sun came out and began to burn it off I witnessed swirls of cotton candy lift up off the water and dance into the sky.  Naturally, I went out to try my hand at capturing what I was seeing but couldn’t imagine the images turning out like they did.  I believe something else guided my hand that day for this, my favorite image of the day, defines my Spirituality.  This is my  Column of Light.

Metamorphosis

ImageFirst Light

This post is for Lorrie Bowden.

She lives on a more southerly eastern coast.

Yesterday’s Morning Is Broken post brought about many conversations and insights.

She and I agreed to take a morning sunrise photo today and compare.

Just for grins.

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Phase 2

This morning I woke to rain.

Discouraged, I rose anyway and checked the forecast.

Rain was moving out.

This gave me time for coffee,

and quality time with my dog.

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Phase 3

 The ocean was calm, like a lake.

The first thing I saw was a small fishing boat scurrying across the horizon.

Reminded me of bass boats pre-dawn on the lake during bass tournaments.

Not a common sighting on the ocean.

The next thing I noticed were the gnats.

Calm winds = biting gnats.

I know this and have dressed for the occasion.

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Golden Light

Although I agreed to this fun exercise I didn’t forget yesterday’s epiphany.

Few photos were taken.

Much walking and meditation occurred

in between swatting biting gnats that dangled in my hair.

The metamorphosis was grand.

Cool, grey morning blossomed into a golden, bright sunrise.

Late in coming and glorious.

Good morning

Morning Has Broken

ImageThe Pier (C) by Debi Bradford

 

The sun rises every morning without fail regardless of weather or the politics of man.

We may or may not witness this miracle but it happens nonetheless.

I’d begun to take this miracle for granted.

Proximity creates familiarity.

How many sunrises have I photographed?

Lots.

How many sunrise images do I have on my hard drive?

Tons.

Recently, I would waken early but lie there thinking…..

Oh, it’s almost sunrise.  Do I NEED another sunrise image?

No.

So, I simply stopped going out to observe and photograph sunrises.

 

 

ImageShells (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

I forgot.

Photographing sunrises wasn’t the point.

Witnessing sunrises was.

Witnessing sunrises has been my morning ritual, my morning meditation, my ocean-labyrinth walk.

Photography was only the side show.

Over time photographing and sharing the event began to overshadow the morning meditation.

 

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Dancing Cloud (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

I forgot.

There’s magic wherever you look on a morning beach.

Simply being on the beach is a blessing.

Sand between my toes is a balm.

A refreshing surf splashing on my legs is bliss.

Wind whipping my hair into knots brings laughter.

Gulls laughing overhead brings joy.

The sound of crashing waves drowns out the world.

It’s only me and the sea.

Salt air fills and cleanses my lungs.

Walking the beach strengthens my legs, my heart, my soul.

 

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Sit a Spell (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

I forgot.

So, I took very few images this morning.

Instead, I sat on a rental’s beach steps and watched the morning gently stretch and waken.

Walking back I stopped to rest on the boardwalk bench.

Life is good.

Lesson learned.

Tree Spirits

 
 
Image“X” Marks The Spot (C) 2014 – Bo’s Spirit Tree – by Debi Bradford
 
There are tree spirits in Airlie Gardens. One would think tree spirits would be prevalent in the grand old live oaks but that hasn’t been my experience. My friend, Bo, communicated with a solitary pine that leaned out over Airlie Lake during her last visit. She’d tried visiting with several live oaks beforehand with no results but the pine’s spirit hummed to her. I watched her connect then gently stepped away, back down the path to give her solitude with the ancient wood. This experience touched me.
 
ImageThe Arbor (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford
 
 
During my last reflective visit where I was seeking peace and solace, seeking to calm my soul I sought out the wisdom of the trees. First, I tried every live oak in my path. Nothing. Eventually, I stumbled upon an area I’d not visited before with an enchanting arbor, huge white azaleas and circle paths leading through flowers and ferns through massive trees. Shady and cool.
 
ImageMy Spirit Tree (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford
 
 
At the entrance stood this massive pine tree. I gently placed my hand upon her saucer-sized bark plates, closed my eyes and cleared my mind. At first, nothing. I sent the tree a silent prayer and was rewarded with a distinct humming that traveled through my hand, up my arm and into my heart. I found my tree spirit.
 
ImageThe Humming (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford
 
“A tree spirit is a type of nature spirit, and effectively the “living soul” of a tree. It has much in the way of wisdom and healing to offer those who are willing to listen and absorb, Louise Heyden informs.  Primarily, tree spirits act as the guardians and life force of the trees. Responsible for nurturing and growing them, the tree spirits are keen to share their wisdom regarding the care of the planet, particularly that of forests, woods and the wildlife that dwells within. They are also excellent healers, and leaning against the trunk of a tree can bring about great restorative powers.  The best way to begin working with tree spirits is to sit beneath one, leaning against the trunk, touching the bark, drinking in the tree. Meditating beneath it may bring visions, messages or dream.”
 
You may think me crazy (…most do…) but I know trees are alive in many ways and should be respected. Sharing so you’ll be aware of these spirits and treat trees, and the earth as a whole, with respect and love.