“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me.
I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns.
I am rooted, but I flow.”
(Virginia Woolf, The Waves)
My hands are becoming busier now that Spring has settled in.
Gardening. Soil underneath my nails I carefully clean pots that have set out all winter. Huge planters must be emptied, cleaned, oiled and prepared for this year’s flowers and herbs. I’ll do a few outdoor tasks then come inside to clean up, carefully washing my hands, digging soil out from beneath fingernails and applying lotion or cream or oil. Rest up, hydrate, talk to my husband. Then, it’s time to put my hands back to work chopping, mixing, preparing the evening meal. One hand holds a glass of wine while the other stirs vegetables in a cast iron skillet. We eat what was prepared and talk about our day. Then, time to clean up, hands dipped into hot, soapy water. A final grand show of their abilities – washing, rinsing, drying and putting away. Clean the counters.
Hands are such wonders, aren’t they? I am rooted, but I flow daily with Gratitude for my hands.
We just returned from vacation in Colorado. I love the beach but desired to see a completely different landscape. You can’t get more different than the Rocky Mountains. I saw a wild moose! And elk! Wanted to see a black bear but no such luck. Nor did I see the longhorn sheep or mountain goats, but had fun looking.
Those mountains are gorgeous. Humbling. Massive. Those ponderosa pines blow me away. We visited Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak. The best part was simply choosing a direction and driving mountain roads. The views! The snow!
We as individuals are served well by immersing ourselves into nature….where there’s no service to our phones … and breathe it all in. We are so tiny and the earth is so large. My belief is that Mother Earth will survive us, despite our attempts to kill it off. She will eventually shake us off and live her own life free from the fleas of humanity for her days are numbered, too.
I have a friend. A friend who challenges me while being nonjudgmental. Her critiques are honest yet delivered in kindness.
We’ve become estranged of late due to Life challenges on her part and mine. She is on my mind constantly. I miss her, yet currently our relationship is strained. The funny part is that I really don’t know why.
She would say that’s a cop-out and would grill me down to get at the root…but the last time we tried that it didn’t go very well.
We will remain friends – it’s just that our “new normal” hasn’t yet been discovered. Time. As all good things of value, it will take time.
Beauty competition on the east coast.
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.
“For my panacea…..let me have a draught of undiluted morning air. Morning air! If men will not drink of this at the fountainhead of the day, why, then, we must even bottle up some and sell it in the shops, for the benefit of those who have lost their subscription ticket to morning time in this world.” (Henry David Thoreau)
Morning air!!! My favorite time of the day, bar none, is that moment between darkness and dawn. The sky begins a subtle brightening. The air is clear and clean and coats my lungs with purity. Suddenly, as in a Disney cartoon, the birds begin to sing as if on cue.
That really happens.
Once, during my predawn walk I spied a dead stone crab high on the beach. As big as a dinner plate, the crab was beautiful and thick with black tipped claws and sandy colored body. I admired him, then walked on to take photos. It was rather dark still, so I decided to sit on the sand for a different angle. About 10 feet in front of the crab I sat and shot for a bit. After shooting I rose and walked to the water, dipping my toes in the foam. Walking back for home I noticed the crab missing. Missing! Was he not dead? A shiver went up my spine. If not dead….where?! I found where he’d been and discovered the footprints of multiple gulls. While I was shooting, the sound of waves and wind in my ears, the gulls were feasting 10 feet behind me….and I never heard it.
It is time to begin again. Time to get off my ass and jump back into the world of the living. I’ve MISSED blogging! I realized I never finished telling you about Scotland! I’m not sure just what happened but I think exhaustion was the culprit. Lots of eldercare responsibilities and living out of a suitcase. Oh, yeah. That’s what it was.
I mean, look at this beautiful world! The ocean is my front yard! (well, kinda) I also mentioned doing a photo essay on something called beach nourishment. (look it up) That’s about to start in earnest here at my beach and I’m not looking forward to it.
I’ve been stupidly saying things to myself like “who needs another freakin’ sunrise photo?” Well, truth be told…I do. I need them. My soul needs them. As Sting says “That’s my soul up there….” So, I’M BACK!!!