Tag: Eco-Spirituality

Reflections

Reflections

_TSL4760Thunderheads were building in the distance as I walked down to the beach with my tripod and camera gear. After awakening far too early, I decided to leave the house and photograph the sunrise. With good cloud potential, expectations for some interesting shots motivated me. I had to go anyway for sea turtle track patrol so why not just go early?

_TSL4744Conditions were near perfect. There was enough wave action to produce the desired result of a silky Gulf, with time exposures, and the clouds were big and lovely. The unexpected surprise was tidal pools that created reflections.

_TSL4791As I stood waiting for the camera to tick the seconds on the longer exposures…. 8….13….15…the idea of reflections bounced around in my head. Are we reflections of a greater wisdom? We act as mirrors for others in our lives. We can celebrate the amazing truth of that….and know we are not alone.

_TSL4879-2I turned around on the beach today and found the reflection behind me was mind-blowing. It reminded me of the wonderful experiences I’ve had, that are behind me, and the people I shared them with…beautiful.

_TSL4865While thoughts did come to mind as I photographed the sunrise, it was mostly a time of communing with beauty that made me laugh out loud and utter words to the sea and the sun…grateful….thank you….love.

_TSL4906The next time you see a reflection…whether it’s in a tidal pool, on the surface of a large body of water or in a mirror where you look into your own eyes…think of those lovely souls who have spent time with you and reflected back to you your own beauty.

This is Love

This is Love


Trying to communicate love isn’t always easy. The word has so many different meanings. For some, it means sex. For others it may mean possession. Others might think of love as obligation. Everyone has a personal spin on what it means resultant of their own experience of relationship.

When you tell someone you love them, their filters of personal experience can possibly change what your intention was. And then things get messy and people might respond as if you are the one who originally taught them about love in relationship. Painful experiences can follow us throughout our lives and we expect love to bring the gut-wrenching punch we first felt when someone we loved acted in an unloving way. It can be confusing.

Cosmic Whale-3Dion Fortune, one of my favorite writers, wrote this, “The personality must be healed so the power can come through clear.” This has been my quest for decades now…heal my personality flaws so that I can be a clearer channel for love. This isn’t easy. It’s not a path for the faint of heart. We must be willing to open ourselves completely and make horrible fools of ourselves when, in our openness, we stumble. But if we have the courage to be that open, to be that vulnerable and to feel so deeply to clear our personality flaws, then only good will result.

When I say, I love you, think of the chimpanzee hugging Jane Goodall when he is released after she rescued him (see video above). That’s just pure love without expectation or labels. It’s the nameless experience of unconditional positive regard…light manifested through action. The monkey isn’t asking Jane for anything. He is simply allowing an energy of pure love to move through his open heart with nothing attached, nothing expected.

bitmoji-20160602165515Romantic love doesn’t interest me nor does possession of anyone or expectation of anyone. I want to live in the space of open-hearted communication and communion with the world. To those that mean the most to me I wish to be able to clearly show love without it being misconstrued as something it’s not. We can’t control how others receive the love we express so the only thing I know to do is to keep loving…purely, without expectation and with my whole heart.

_TSL1975I think animals are such channels for love because they don’t live in the past. They simply allow their open hearts to bring forth the magic of light manifested through action. When I watched mother humpback whales and their calves interact this past February it was crystal clear that love was guiding them. It was the most exquisite expression of love I’ve ever seen.

FullSizeRender 5Perhaps this is why I have always appreciated animals so much. We understand each other without thinking about it or wondering what it means….I love you….and you….and you….and you…….I love you.

 

 

Sea Turtle Mania

Sea Turtle Mania

IMG_4550As I hopped into the car, silver strands of spider webs swirled around me. After an 18 mile bike ride I was headed to help the sea turtle team with our three nests this morning. THREE!

IMG_4556Was on the bike just after 5.30am and enjoying the beautiful sunrise and cool temperature when my phone rang at 6.01am. It was a turtle team friend. She knows to call me before the ALL CALL goes out because I live 20 miles from our Laguna Key team beach. Rather than fumble with it I just let it go to voice mail and continued the ride.

When you are in the back of the state park on a backcountry trail, it’s going to take a while to get back to the car anyway. Why not finish my ride?

The Share the Beach ALL-CALL came in at 6.22am. I had already turned around to head back to the car so I’d check it when I finished riding. But at 6.31am my friend Cathy, who had called me earlier, texted me so I knew something was up. It wasn’t just one nest. Her text read: THREEEE NESTS!

IMG_4532So I forwarded my iPod to Prince and Michael Franti and put the after-burner on full blast. So much for a leisurely pedal back to finish the third day in a row of cycling fun. I texted Cathy: Cycling. Be there in a bit. There is an art to texting and cycling which I don’t recommend.

Back to the car by 7.10am and called to find out their location. Just starting the first nest at the far end of our section. Nice, I thought. By the time I drive from the state park to the beach they will have found eggs at the first nest and I’ll help with the other two. 

IMG_4558Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and in fact our team was split into two groups, each digging to find eggs on two nests within 100 yards of each other. I knew it was bad when I arrived and all I saw was the top of their heads sticking out from the hole. No eggs yet.

I joined in and it took us until 8.30 am to find eggs. The nest was right on the edge of the water and had to be moved by 9am. The other diggers still had no luck with their nest.

You might wonder how we know for sure there are eggs and it’s not just a false crawl. A false crawl is when we have tracks that generally are in and out of the water with no body pit or spray. An indicator of a nest is of course the crawl, an indentation or body pit and sand spray. Both nests had body pits and spray. The other nest was even closer to the water. A high tide would most likely take it out.

IMG_4560Deb found the eggs and ran to help the other group while Jan, one of our team leaders, and I started removing and counting eggs. Meanwhile Ken, the other team leader, went due north of us to dig a hole that would have the same depth and dimensions as the original nest dug by mama turtle.

We finished moving the eggs, putting the predator screen and stakes in place and marking it and headed for the third nest further east. We left the rest of our team trying their best to find eggs before 9am.

Nest three of the day was wonderfully placed by the mother turtle so we only had to find the eggs, not move them. And do all the measurements and GPS readings that we do.

IMG_4562I began digging…by digging I mean carefully using the side of my hand to gently scrap layers of sand somewhere in the spray zone of the nest. Ken and Jan started the measurements of crawl, placement and such. I hadn’t been digging long when the rest of our team showed up and helped. It was getting hot and none of us had eaten breakfast so we were quite anxious to find the eggs, take the GPS reading, erect the protective gadgetry and head home.

IMG_4568
This is where the mother turned. Notice her body pit. Spray is to the left.

Every mother turtle has her own, unique way of placing her nests so there isn’t a formula that takes into consideration her crawl in and out of the water, the spray zone or placement of the body pit. Every one is different so that makes finding the eggs a chore.

IMG_4567
Another view of the crawl, body pit and spray. Spray is to the left.

Thankfully, I found them within 15 minutes of scooping sand. All of our knees were nearly blistered from kneeling and scooping sand for hours. Also, our team isn’t made up of young adults. We are all middle aged plus so it really takes a team effort to do the work.

This past Sunday we had two nests, yesterday we had two nests and today three. I predict a really bad hurricane along our coast some time late August or early September. These turtles have a way of knowing when to lay their nests. I hope this isn’t the case but we’ve seen it before. Or they know the satellite tag team is about to began their work and they are wanting to avoid the capture and tagging process.

We were exhausted after our morning's work.
We were exhausted after our morning’s work.

About 55 days from now, we will be recruiting volunteers to help us with these nests. We erect black tarps behind and along the side to keep light from the houses and street out, but we really need to be present to make sure they don’t get out and crawl under houses or into the street. Surprise hatchings have yielded this result and it’s sad to see the carnage of baby turtles if they crawl the wrong way out of their nest. Third week of July if you’d like to become a volunteer we can get a free shirt and training for you. The nights sitting out under stars while the Gulf of Mexico laps gently along the shore….it’s just hard to beat. Seeing the tiny turtles in the black out conditions make their way to the water is amazing. Once in a while there is phosphorescence in the sand and their small flippers create little star-bursts of light as they touch the sand. Have I sold you on volunteering yet?

FullSizeRender 3We will have seven nests hatching around the same time. That’s crazy….and there could be more.

You never know what the day will bring. Today it was sea turtle mania. Tomorrow…who knows!

Ah-Ha Moment!

Ah-Ha Moment!

SimoneLipscomb (13)Decades ago I had a vision of living alone in a cottage as an older woman. I can’t remember the exact circumstances but it was a very strong image.

Society has certain expectations. If you are single and choose to live alone, and have the audacity to be happy,  it can make others uncomfortable. One of my long-time friends recently pointed out that living alone, choosing to be single, and being happy is a lifestyle. I had never thought of it that way before and it was quite eye-opening.

I love living alone. There. I said it. I find fulfillment and happiness by myself.

Los Islotes Shot
New friends I met diving the Sea of Cortez last autumn.

I have friends and I travel a bit and meet new friends. It would be awesome to have a traveling companion to enjoy nature with but if not, I’m still happy. I don’t really want a live-in relationship.

It seems the world is geared to people who are in relationship. I was listening to a playlist while cycling this morning and every song was about being in a relationship…with another person. What if I just want to be in a relationship with myself? Can someone please write a song about that? And make a fun one, a happy one…please.

SimoneLipscomb (8)Not to say I haven’t been in love or that I don’t still very much love a man. But who says love has to look a certain way? Can’t I love another person without wanting a romantic, rose and chocolates kind of experience? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But are Cinderella and Snow White really the fairy tales we want to base our lives on? We never know what happened to their happy ‘ending’ after they became self-actualized.  Maybe they discovered they really wanted to live in their own castles and find joy in solitude and just invite the prince when they wanted to take a fun journey.

_TSL4466Creatively I am my most-productive when alone. I ride my bicycle alone with rare exception because I enjoy being out in nature with no distractions. My friend wrote me the other day and reminded me that I can choose to be happy in my life, but I have to consciously take that step. Today it all made complete sense.

Yesterday was the craziest day I’ve ever experienced but it opened me to this realization: I am happy. I like living alone and having a relationship with nature and my four-legged companions. I love and appreciate my friends and love a man that still brings wisdom to me even though we have been apart over four years. And I’m not closed to a relationship but I envision more of a traveling companion. But if he doesn’t show up, I’m still happy.

I wrote to my friend last week: I am clear that cultivating relationships with trees, ocean, earth, animals and learning to love…period…is my path. Love to depths that clears way anything that keeps me from being open to bringing through unconditional love and light.

Sometimes we need a reminder that we are already happy with what we have.