Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable


A Beach Morning

I awake this morning to a cloudless sky and twin suns: one above and one reflected in the mirror of the ocean. Pelicans are already on the wing, gliding mere inches above gentle swells being pulled towards land. Bluebirds and purple martins perform acrobatics above the dune vegetation, warning me that today the sun will be warm enough to coax gnats and no-see-’ems from winter slumber.

Despite this morning’s late winter chill, I bring coffee and journal to the deck, where the entire arc of the horizon is unobstructed. The weathered oak bench soaked up the night’s freezing temperature, and my pajamas offer no resistance to the cold. The sun is not yet high enough to offer much countering warmth. No matter. Coffee warms from the inside out.

Terns are cavorting in the ripples of the morning’s small waves. Like small children, they leap over the approaching breakers and with wings still flapping, settle back into the water to float until the next wave. There’s maybe a hundred of them playing in the waves, waiting for the new tide to deliver breakfast. As the current carries them down the beach it is harder and harder to distinguish the sparkling white of their wings from the white of the wave tops.

Despite the cold, the air is still. The winter-bare stalks of sea oats barely waver in the morning air. Ocean sounds fill the air. The land birds are yet silent, and slow to greet the morning. The sounds of shore birds are drowned out by the swishes and booms of waves. Even these small foot-high swells have a big voice.

So begins my last peaceful morning at the beach. Tomorrow morning will be filled with carrying my things down the 30 steps to my car, and readying the condo for the next arrival, whoever and whenever that may be. I am grateful for this calm, clear morning, for the sunrise that called me out of bed to see this day begin. The sights and sounds and feel of this morning are my spiritual breakfast, a communion offered by Creation to all who sit at Nature’s table.


Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 In Pictures

All images © Janet Hince 2012-2013

December Beach Sojourn

My soul needs the sights and sounds and smells of salt water, no matter that it is December and the wind blows cold off the Atlantic. No matter that instead of summer’s warmth, the water is now a chilly 58 degrees. My feet need to feel waves breaking on top of them and sand being sucked out from beneath them by the retreating water. My feet know that there is but one ocean circling the earth. The names of the oceans are but conventions invented and assigned by human beings. Today my feet touch sardine fishermen in the Mediterranean, polar bears swimming in the Arctic Ocean, and baby sea turtles rafting in the Sargasso Sea. This water laps the shores of western Ireland and circles the Antarctic continent. The songs of humpback whales tickle my toes. Entering these rifling waves with my bare feet should be a sacrament.