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.
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.
“If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.”
Jacques Yves Cousteau
I’ve shared this image before but think it worth a second pass. You see, the fascination for me is how the waves seem to creep up out of the ocean to become pink clouds, while on the other end the sea water is seeping down into the sand creating a wet reflection of the pink clouds. Ocean and clouds – it’s all water anyway. Water is Life. Water is the ultimate miracle on this planet for without we would cease to exist very quickly.
Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt, 2014
Ardvreck Castle in the Highlands of Scotland was the home of the MacLeods of Assynt. The MacLeods were traditional Lairds of Assent and Sutherland. The castle is a 15th-16th Century L-planned fortified tower house. Battles came and went and the MacLeods of Ardvreck Castle was eventually overtaken by their bitter enemies the MacKenzies of Wester-Ross. Lightning destroyed the bulk of the castle much later and the ruins sit majestically next to the A837.
Naturally, there are ghost stories – the favorite being this I read on British Express: “Legends cling to the enigmatic ruins. It is said that the ghost of a MacLeod chieftain’s daughter wanders the beach, weeping. She married the Devil in an effort to save the castle from destruction, then she drowned in the loch. Another ghost, a mysterious man in grey, wanders about the castle ruins.”
Scotland is the perfect setting for ghost stories. That, plus after touring the Highlands one gets the true sense of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for much of his inspiration was drawn from these mountains, lochs, brooding clouds and damp rains. Scotland inspires.
“I gave three years of my life to take care of my dying mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. Being there for her every need for three years might have looked codependent but it wasn’t because it was what I wanted to do.” (Melody Beattie)
This quote resonated with me today. The past few years I have been away a lot helping to care for my four parents. Mom and stepfather, dad and stepmother. I love them all. I lost two of them the past year and a half – my father and stepmother. And I was there, helping. It’s not co-dependent, this act of love. It is a choice. I could have chosen to stay home and let my sister and stepbrothers do the caring, but that is not “me.” Many people have questioned my actions since, but I tell you I’ll do it again. For my mom and my stepfather. All of them have been there for me and I intend to be there for them. That’s what human beings do. That’s what family does. While we are all giving Thanks for what we have I believe that giving Thanks isn’t a one-day holiday. It’s every day in every way, in every thing that we do. That’s my belief. Be Thankful and show Love everyday.
Two Pelicans at Sunrise 2014
But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
“My words are tied in one
With the great mountains
With the great rocks
With the great trees.
In one with my body,
and my heart.
Do you all help me
with supernatural power,
And you, Day
And you, Night
All of you see me
One with this World.”
Yokuts Indian Prayer