Weekly Photo Challenge: Today was a Good Day

I have many good days. So it was hard to select a series of images to represent just one day or one adventure! After all, that’s what my blog is. A photo journal of my life and my passion for the natural world. Here is a gallery of images that illustrates what a really good day (or few days!) might look like for me because it would include so much of what inspires me…

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

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Gifts from the Sea

I spent two days by the sea. On the southern coast of Maine. A place full of familiar sights and so much that is unchartered territory. A place to lose and find myself. A place filled with gifts. Gifts from the sea.image

It is a place I love.

A few times a year I make my way there. Because the gifts it offers, are the ones I am longing for. Gifts that replenish and exhilarate me.

The soothing and tranquil waters of the Casco Bay.

The ancient and weathered rocks that create the shoreline.

The crashing waves of the open ocean that ebb and flow.

The fragile and beautiful shells that are left behind to be found.

Time with the sea is my gift to myself.

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A gift that I never tire of receiving.

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And the sea never tires of giving…

Breathing Under Water

Every so often I read a book that is incredibly powerful and inspiring. A book that causes me to think and feel and wonder and learn.  A book that opens my mind and my heart and my spirit. A book that affects me so deeply that it moves me to tears.

“Breathing Under Water” by Richard Rohr is just such a book.

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I had no idea when I opened to the first page that it would impact me so profoundly.

But perhaps I should have realized it would after reading this poem in the introduction:

BREATHING UNDER WATER

I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you;
not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house
by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier,
always, the sand between.

And then one day,
– and I still don’t know how it happened –
the sea came.
Without warning.

Without welcome, even
Not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine,

less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew, then, there was neither flight, not death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling, you stop being neighbors
Well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance neighbours
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe underwater.

(Carol Bieleck, R.S.C.J. from an unpublished work)

And I cried. Not tears of sadness but tears of awareness. Because I am learning how to breathe under water.  And my tears come from a place of gratitude. Because the sea came into my life too.

And I thought I was drowning.

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So I let myself drown.

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And it was then that I began to learn to breathe underwater.

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This book reminds me to never stop learning…

How to breathe underwater.

Because the sea will always be a part of life.

I am a Lover

I am a lover.

I read the most beautiful and inspiring essay on Rebelle Society the other day. And I thought, what a perfect title for a post, because I am a lover too.

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I love the sky and the stars and the moon

I love the flowers and the trees and the grasses

I love the creatures big and small

I love the mountains and the fields and the ocean

I love the seasons and the clouds and the sun

I love the colors of the earth

I love to see, hear, smell, taste and touch

I love the hearts of my family and friends

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I love my feelings and my ideas and my dreams

I love the rich tapestry of experiences that have lead me to this moment.

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I love this life I live.

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I am love…

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I am a lover.

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To read the essay from Rebelle Society, click here: http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/04/05/lovers/

Ocean Magic

From the moment I lay eyes on it…

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Until the the moment I leave.

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The ocean always works its magic.

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With its vast and endless horizon

With its gentle and soothing rhythms

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With its tumultuous wildness

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With its healing serenity

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With its ancient wisdom

And its magnificent grandeur

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The allure of the ocean has no boundaries.

Its magic is there for everyone…

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to experience, to feel, to embrace.

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A Sense of Place

It is a feeling we have. A feeling of warmth and connection and identity.

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It is a place that is special and unique to us as humans…and as individuals.

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It’s our experiences and interactions with the land and space around us.

This sense of place is important. It creates emotions inside of us. It allows us to feel belonging and safety. Most of all, when we have a sense of place, we care. We care about and for this place.

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There are many beautiful and magical places on this earth. As people we deeply desire ways to bond with these places. These places that capture our hearts and our love.

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For me, a sense of place, is where I feel alive. And at the same time where I feel at home within myself. And where my heart opens and expands.

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I have felt connections to many places. Each is special and unique to me. And each place stirs different feelings. I fall in love with these places. And they become a part of who I am.

I truly believe that when we feel a sense of place with some piece of land or water, we begin to understand the role each place has on our planet. And when we understand, we realize how each place is necessary in the puzzle of life.

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From this comes a sense of responsibility. A sense of compassion. A sense of interconnectedness. A sense of gratitude.

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We look more carefully, we listen more intently and we walk more gently.

For this place…is our home.

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Our only home.

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Rocks In My Head

I have a thing for rocks. In fact it might be called an obsession. I can look at them for hours. I am fascinated by their shape, color, texture, and uniqueness. Like fingerprints. And just as often, I find myself taking some home, filling my pockets or backpack. There are rocks in my car. There are rocks in my house. I’m beginning to think there are rocks in my head…

Rocks tell a story about the place they are found and about our earth. Rocks have gone through cycles and changes. Rocks endure and transform. They get battered and tossed around in raging rivers and ocean tides. They undergo extremes temperatures and pressure. They can be polished smooth or left rough. Each one beautiful in its own way.

Rocks have a mysterious side as well. A sacredness to their ability to withstand time and the elements. They are present everywhere and have been used to navigate and guide and mark spiritual places upon the land.

Rocks symbolize strength, stability, and being grounded. They represent different things to different cultures and throughout history. They are a source of power and healing. They are mined and quarried and examined and even coveted.

Mountains are made of rock. Violently thrusted and forced upward from the earth to form towering peaks. Steep and treacherous pinnacles to gentle rolling hills.

Rocks broken down over time become sand. And then begin changing again…back into a rock. Different yet in some ways the same. Combining with new minerals, forming bonds, and rebuilding. To see the world in a grain of sand…is not just the start of a lovely William Blake poem…but a way of seeing things from a new and clearer perspective. Slowing down and truly noticing the infinite beauty of the world around us.

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Maybe having rocks in my head isn’t such a bad thing after all…

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