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.
Words are not coming to me so I’ll just leave you with this photo. The sunrise was beautiful and soft that morning and that’s the feeling I want to leave you with today.
Peace and Love, my friends.
“”Natural boundaries are not evidenced when we view the earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.”
I worry about our country and our planet these days – especially these days – but am taking time to look at photos of planets in our solar system, reading about the cosmos and listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson, who for me boils down the immensity of Space and Time into something fathomable and understandable to my tiny brain. Our species has been ruled by despots many times in many places and yet our species lives on. Some folks better than others, but we live on. Once our planet’s resources are used up by said despots our planet will pitch a tantrum and our time as a species will draw to a close and the insects will take over. We are already knee deep into the 6th Extinction, I believe. It’s an interesting time to be a human.
“We need to find God,
and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
I’ve always contended that Nature is my Church. I’ve tried organized religion and rarely find Spirit in the “house of God.” Instead, I find Him in the silence of my soul when I talk with Him, when I watch His creatures in the wild and I observe the variations of this beautiful natural cathedral He created we call Earth. However, I must confess that I also find Him in the ancient musics like Georgian chants, Latin hymns of my father-in-laws Episcopalian faith, Native American wooden flutes and the choirs of children. Music transcends, and there’s something about not being able to understand the words that lend a mysticism. I think about these things over the Christmas holiday.