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Archive for the ‘Beach’ Category

May this cloud pass swiftly

Give way to skies blue;

Rain’s vital purpose,

To shine things anew

 

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This week I learned too late about the dangers of going cold-turkey off hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause, something I do not recommend doing on your own. Consult your doctor first so they can prescribe a titrating regimen!

Research shows some symptoms actually become worse during the months-long withdrawal and that it can be severe enough to cost some women their jobs, relationships and self-respect, by the time the storm passes.

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Dear God, thank You for seasons and the weather and for moods, all of which are never permanent, but changing and future-bound. May each season usher in new hope, each storm yield new respect and each mood lead to happiness.

Thank You also for wisdom, endurance and unwavering family and friendships which keep us tethered to the palm tree during the brunt of the storm.

And please equip us all with patience to ride things out with grace, compassion, courage and faith, that we might breathe deeply and appreciate the fresh, shiny blue skies after the rain.

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This week of Thanksgiving in the U.S., I decided to begin a few new traditions.

Research shows that you can improve both mood and health throughout the day by identifying one or more (different) things you’re grateful for, first thing in the morning. No more than 1-2, however, since studies also show that listing 5 or more dilutes the gratitude and its benefits.

So in that predawn hazy zone of waking up and just before I open my eyes, I then count a blessing or two.

(I wonder if saying a gratitude just before drifting off at night would yield better slumber and/or dreams?)

Our longstanding Thanksgiving family tradition is to walk off our feast down at the town pier at sunset. We are always thankful for the friends and beautiful scenes we see:

Cast netting…he might bring up crabs, mullet, shrimp, shark, eel or redfish

Colorful kayaks await tomorrow’s paddlers

A pelican under a wavy ribbon of clouds

Crimson Tide

Quiet fishing

Mother/daughter bonding through texting?

Roll, Tide, Roll!

Contemplation? Praying? No, hunched over texting…

Nautical Christmas spirit!

Serenity indeed…

Life is good at this latitude!

Thank You, God, for a holiday with a sole purpose of gathering to give thanks and gratitude for blessings past, present and for blessings to come. Thanks for the privilege of life, the bounty of love and the gift of mercy.

Thanks for beauty everywhere…for precious time…for forgiveness…for laughter…and for those people and things You that touch our lives in ways that make the world a better place along our journey.

May we never take these gifts for granted and always be grateful.

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In the last installment, Subtropical storm Alberto was about to impose on my world. Perhaps the main twisted part had to do with the media coverage elsewhere (for ratings’ sake) than what actually was the case here.

The good news was it provided some great surf for the local surfer fanatics who don’t have the luxury of living in Australia or Hawaii. And that my kid’s skull wasn’t impacted. The bad news came home this morning:

No worries, we were able to save the ankle tether and this was just a backup surf board.

Now we’re just waiting for a “real” storm.

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to Donut the therapy dog yet….Santa brought him at Christmas to our house from a very special place across the country, for our special needs kids:

(when in my lap, he doubles as Toonces the Driving Dog)

He is decked out for Memorial Day.

God bless all who sacrificed their lives for ouR freedom….

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Besides the path of subtropical storm Alberto in my sea right now, I had a little fun finding some twisted in my world…

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Eggshell Tower

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Surfing in Alberto

Hey, God, thanks for all the twists and turns You allow in ouR lives…for ups and downs, ins and outs, zigs and zags and for the calms and storms as well.

In all these twists life takes us on, it’s nice to hang on to You for dear life! Thank You, God, for making life so interesting.

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It is always good to know one’s Place in the World…I am so grateful for mine, and for you joining me here at the sea!

Thanks, God, for respite and sea solace, for giving us a piece of Heaven here on earth in our respective places in the world You’ve provided.

Forgive uS for having strayed from our designated places when we have, and thank You for shepherding us back to where we belong. Your mercy and patience with us is great, and greatly to be praised.

Thank You for the different ways You nurture us with comfort and peace…and for the places that we can be still and know that You are God.

Thanks for giving us a place in the world.

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If trees could talk! This beached and upended tree perpetuates an intricate Story despite its seeming demise, with its processed planked cousins in a heap to the right…

What story do YOU see here? An end, or a beginning?

A 180 in the sand where I stood, yielded these stories:

Thank You, God, for the old and new stories, perpetual stories, real stories, imaginary stories and the freedom to always create new stories that keep us, that keep life, alive and well and infused with Hope and Faith. That there is always beauty and love and New Life, no matter the level of mayhem, that life itself always springs from death and destruction. That salvation and rejoicing always come after the barrenness of grief, Lent and denial. That there is always light after darkness. Amen.

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An anonymous crowd of two for this week’s WPC – can you guess the story?

Thanks, God, for anonymity, facelessness and for being able to be lost in a crowd…for it is the pursuit of being found that leads us time and again right back to You, eternal life and Your amazing grace.

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Breath of life

Fleeting sigh

Washing over

Time gone byeFace It

Life so full

But years so short

Your ship sailed free

From New York’s port

 

Home at last

We’ll miss you so!

Your grace and style

Etern’ly flow

 

In memoriam

Frederica Shelton Barney, 1965-2017

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tears of sorrow

tears of grief

tears roll daily

no relief

lame distractions

cheapened hope

castaway dreams

frayed rope

perfect storm

of guillotines

natty to rags

ball gowns to jeans

for the better

was the goal

end result

darkened soul

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Reblogged from October, 2011…because what’s old is new again:

I suppose it wasn’t really there after all. I must have been daydreaming. When you’re hanging at the beach, some things just kind of blur together, like the pod of dolphins the other day at one point clearly being a pod of dolphins, gradually fooling the eyes into trying to decipher what was bottlenose and what was fin and what was tall wave. The playful animals somehow melded into being waves. Eventually when the excitement wanes and you start questioning your own senses and sensibility, you learn to quit looking, and refocus anew on what is, on what was, to begin with.

I thought I saw a ship, of great proportions, traversing the horizon. It had a bright color that caught my eye, contrasting from the sea, and maintained a steady path, as long as I dared to watch.

While it caught my gaze, I imagined where it came from, how long it had stayed in port, and where it now headed, what it carried. The Sunday newspaper keeps a public record of such data, but it’s been a month of Sundays since I read a Sunday paper.

But the ship was real as long as I looked at it.

I was driving, though, and could only afford intermittent glances. I was driving fast, windows down, music loud, hair flying.

I know it was there. But then, I glanced again, and it was not. Simply slipped out of my vision, out of my reality.

It reminded me of the man I used to see come home on what I calculated must be his lunch hour, as I ran the last hill on my runs. His house was one of my reality checks – I used it to remind myself of my goal, since it was at the peak of the knoll, the hardest and steepest hill of the three I conquer on my usual 2.5 run.

Once upon a time in the season of jasmine, I marveled at the tall southern pines which graced his front yard, with something that looked like clematis climbing up the trunks of each tree. They were so fragrant, I came to look forward to springtime runs, just to get to that last, steep incline.

 

Each labored inhalation was rewarded. His front porch was typically Southern, a wraparound with ample rocking chairs and detail in the woodwork, beckoning one to stop for a glass of sweet tea (slice of lemon) in the fragrance of the climbing flowers. The trees, and the clinging flowers, disappeared up into the sky-blue like some Jack-in-the-Beanstalk fairy tale.

How I would have loved to stop!

But my course would have been ruined had I done so – I was compelled to finish what I began, compulsively dedicated to completing my circuit, and his house was only one stop on my way to my destination. How sad…and it always seemed…no, seems (I still go by) so inviting.

Through the spring and part of the summer, I saw him come home. He would be parked in the side driveway, sometimes standing on the porch, sometimes inside, sometimes conversing with his landscapers. Sometimes just standing there, yakking on his phone, or pausing to watch me and wave.

And I always kept going.

Although we saw each other nearly daily, he was a stranger, and I to him. He was at the end of my run, at the top of the steepest hill, and I could not, would not stop, no, never. Never meant to be. He and his coveted possessions were well out of my league. I would not be interested in such.

I had to keep running, keep my pace, knowing the end was near and soon I would have rest. But in that rest I often thought of how nice it would have been to stop my run short and crash on that ample front porch and get acquainted with the wealthy neighbor. He didn’t know me, not really. And I didn’t know him. No, we were Worlds Apart, on two different courses, two different schedules, two different paths. He may have thought he knew me; he probably imagined he knew me, but he would have been wrong. Someone like that and those Things could not have understood or known joy from someone like me and my things.

And, like the ship that I’m not sure ever really existed, he also ceased to exist after my weeks of illness which prevented me from my daily runs. I have gingerly, carefully resumed and gone back, as I sit at the lapping water here, but he no longer comes home for lunch. And I have not seen a ship like it on the horizon since, either.

Both are gone; I am alone, and left wondering if they ever really existed, or if they were figments of my imagination, like so many other things.

I suppose I was a figment, too…not quite real, not quite tangible. Just sort of, out there. Interesting to imagine, but not really existent.

There is safety in not really being real, not able to be figured out, comprehended, perceived fully. Perhaps it is best if figments remain figments, visions as visions, dreams as dreams. That way, things of intrigue remain as we wish for them to be thought of, and we do not run the risk of disappointment, should the harshness of reality not live up to our dreams.

Our dreams…our delusions…our mirages serve us well, to provide the comfort of distracted vision, and of hope and curiosity, without the pain of what is, what must be, no matter how satisfying what must be, is.

Both the ship and the man were elusive and surreal as they passed before what I thought was my reality, bringing interest and reason to look while they lingered in the periphery of my reality, ever just so out of reach and causing me to question my sanity, yet serving a purpose by challenging myself to keep looking and to keep running all at the same time.

Oh, why O why, didn’t I stop long enough to verify the existence of the ship? and the man? Was I afraid they’d be real? Or that I would have to change to accommodate their reality? Was it better that they came and went from what I thought was my vision, that they remained a part of the Unsure?

How bittersweet, never to know for sure. I could never pursue either, and must stay on my circuit.

Damn, today’s run was totally to mentally detox. The news at high noon (delivered in the best room with the best catered food which I didn’t eat) was supposed to be good, which I couldn’t swallow, either. It was good to everyone but me. My crestfallenness did not go unnoticed, and I know they saw me tear out of the parking lot on my run after the meeting with more vigor than usual Upon my return, I was swamped with Higher Visitors and calls from all angles, feeling me out, no one daring to ask. The Secret is not theirs to uncover, they knew. And I was helpless, speechless, unable to explain. Only someone like me could be living such a dual life in so many dimensions.

But the run was hard and fast, and the man wasn’t there…again. I guess I missed too many days, so it was…just…a run. And I returned to face reality, my dreams and thoughts and feelings sequestered to the depths of my inner being, where they are better kept behind the game face.

But nothing can erase the ship on the horizon. I know it was there. I know it seemed like it wasn’t at one point, but I can still see it, I can still picture it crossing my path when I had time to pause my gaze. It was big and bright and happy, and added perspective to the horizon. The fact idea that it was there gave enough impetus to relish the rest of the surroundings, even after it disappeared.

Even if it wasn’t real, it was…just for a moment…it really was. And if I willed it to be so for the sake of my sanity, is there anything wrong with that?

The fumes of belief fuel faith.

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