My last day at the beach I drove to Calabash, NC to eat an oyster roast at Ella’s. If you are vegan or vegetarian you may want to stop reading now. Many mollusks died for me on Friday.
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.
I can’t resist the pull of the tides any longer. My harp and I head for the beach this morning. My mind’s ear already hears the keening gulls and the crashing of waves. There’s limited access to wi-fi where I’m going – maybe I’ll be able to tear myself from the water to drive over the bridge to the coffee shop with free wi- fi. Or maybe not. So I’ll share my adventures and catch up with yours when I am back in the wired world. Meanwhile, picture me here:
As I was walking in New York City on a sultry evening last July 4th, I came upon a church surrounded by a wrought iron fence covered in gold, blue and green ribbons.
The fence surrounds Marble Collegiate Church. A sign in front of the church states that on March 19, 2006, the third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, the congregation and friends of the church began hanging these ribbons on the fence.
The gold ribbons represent prayers for the thousands of U.S. service people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and prayers for their families and loved ones. Each gold ribbon bears the name of a soldier. Every Sunday as part of the worship service, the congregation prays by name for each service person lost that week, and then adds their ribbon to the fence.
The blue ribbons represent prayers for the tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who have lost their lives, for their families and friends, and for all who have been wounded.
The green ribbons represent prayers for peace.
When I read the topic for this week’s photo challenge, I thought of these photos. I thought of the members of this church who every week bear witness to the sacrifice of human lives, and speak the names of those who are lost. And I thought of the invitation their ribbons and their sign offers to passersby:
“We continue to pray daily. We pray for the wounded. We pray for the day that war is no longer an option.
Will you pray with us?”
all photos © Janet Hince
Daniel Stow Botanical Garden creates “Holiday Lights In the Garden” each Christmas season. Something new is added every year. This year it was the illuminated bottle trees. I hope you enjoy your walk through the garden with this slide show.
I took this shot of the Old North Church and the Boston skyline playing around with my iPad on a balmy evening at the Rose Kennedy Park last summer. The iPad does a passable job taking photos in the dark, though the focus could be better. It is the only shot I have that met the challenge definition of functional illumination. But I have some gorgeous non-functional illumination photos to post when next I am at my computer.