Tag: MANATEES

Dare to Listen

Dare to Listen

From my journal, March 15th…One thing stood out from the afternoon–I need more time underwater. You know my gills are dry when floating in cold, green water brings immense contentment.

For months I have felt change coming. I knew I would sell my large, beautiful home nestled under grandmother live oak trees and move but had no idea where. I thought it would be a local move but nothing was clear. In meditations I kept hearing to wait until March and the answer would come.

I was scheduled to be in Crystal River for a book signing mid-March so loaded my kayak and camera gear, wet suit, dry suit and a few clothes. After arriving I was on the water, paddling in high winds, just 30 minutes after a 7 hour drive. After half-hour paddle I was underwater.

The tide was high, the water was green but as I floated watching particles float by with my underwater housing and camera, I was happy. Cold, shivering but happier than I had been in a while. That was when I knew it was time to move to a place where being underwater was a regular occurrence, not a special treat.

On the drive from Crystal River to O’Brian, Florida I saw a huge gathering of migrating birds….and scribbled this–Chaos of white bodies and wings black-tipped in flight, swirling, random uncertainty. Invisible alignment of orderly progression into three V’s moving united to true North. A pause. A massive spiral of flight–breathing, expanding, contracting–infinite mind of Oneness riding the thermals, a vortex of living matter organized in the moment as birds in migration. Random thoughts colliding in confusion of where, when, how, why and then fresh wind blows through to carry away thoughts about thoughts. Slowly ideas begin to form over the vortex of my life and the path opens before me.

Being with manatees always changes me, helps me ground into my life more and the connection in March helped me get clear about my next step….more underwater photography regularly. My intention to document and share the beauty of nature deepened. And in the process of determining the next step in my life, another passion has arisen.

Years ago I lived on 18 acres of land and started working with the land and connecting people with nature there. A series of personal life events brought that to a close and now, almost 15 years later, I find myself wanting to once again help people deepen their relationship with nature through creating a sanctuary where they can visit.

As I deepen my commitment to be underwater more and share the story of our water planet, I renew the intention to create a sanctuary with land, trees and a home that calls me….somewhere near High Springs, Florida. Fears creep in and questions about how it will all come together, but when that happens I drift back in my mind to the cold, green water and manatees that reminded me where my heart beats happiest.

I have built a strong foundation of work on the Alabama Coast and that will remain solid as my work expands and deepens into the flow of freshwater springs and quiet rivers. The voice of the soul moves us ever-closer to perfect alignment with our purpose if we dare to listen.

The Calling

The Calling

The Calling

Through the starlight whispers

Like soft falling snow

Your voice called me.

Particles of light

From some unknown

Home, I heard you.

Eons of time and space

Holding its hand,

An arrow pointing home.

Aching with love

My heart felt you stirring

Deep inside itself

Loggerhead Hatchling

Answer to an unspoken

Word, tears flowed from

My young eyes.

Compelled by the

Silent voice

I answered.

A journey begun,

A path to walk,

A calling.

~ Simone Lipscomb

The Dawn of Spring

The Dawn of Spring

So close to making it to the beach for sunrise but alas that amazing orange orb rose over the swamp as I pedaled. It didn’t matter. It was still an outstanding start to Spring. And was still low enough in the sky at the beach to offer very nice light for a couple of phone photographs.

I felt my life begin to open last weekend with manatees, kayaking, a book signing at Franklin Anderson Gallery of Art and a visit with an old friend. Laughter with my friend, water, sea cows and a family of artists I met were Spring tonics. Clarity began to ease the old stuck places into motion and it feels as if my life can breathe once again.

This is the magic of Spring. Not first stirrings but all-out growth bursting forth.

Growth doesn’t happen simply by reaching for light. We must dig our roots deep into darkness and dare to explore the Unknown before we leap forward into light.

My friend Deco. His dad took us on a fun ride on the Suwannee River.

What a glorious dawn of Spring that amplified the joy from the past weekend. Grateful for so much….friendship, soul-sister-artists, manatees, water to play in and answers.

Watershed Beauty

Watershed Beauty

Dog River, Mobile, Alabama

Earlier this week I was part of a large group of individuals doing health assessments on the local manatee population. While the health of the animals is important and the work by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab biologists and volunteers as well as Sea World Rescue was outstanding, as I rode in one of the boats I couldn’t help but feel amazement at the beauty of our area.

Dog River–Cypress Trees

Dog River conjures images of mud from Will Kimbrough‘s awesome song, Mud Bottom. As I took time at our lunch break to cool off, I thought of the squishy mud Will sings about which always reminds me of Week’s Bay….where I grew up. And the mud is indeed squishy. But I digress….

Our watersheds of coastal Alabama are simply magnificent. The Mobile Delta is one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. Yes, it’s muddy. Yes, the water is dark….but it’s dark like a good roux in gumbo is dark. The darker the roux, the richer and tastier the gumbo.

One of the many launch points on the Mobile Delta

If you are a resident of coastal Alabama I invite you to visit the Delta. Take an eco-cruise with Jimbo Meador or take your kayak out….but hire a guide if you go far. The Delta is a maze of marsh grass and channels leading into a labyrinth of alligators, lotus blossoms and nurseries for baby sea life.

The Mobile Delta

Visit the rivers…Dog, Tensaw, Blakley, Fish, Magnolia….but leave the powerboat at home.  Take a canoe or kayak or paddleboard to really experience the essence of these special places. The Gulf of Mexico is where they all end up but their routes are fabulous water trails into the vast diversity of our area.

Volunteer to help…through wildlife agencies, water keepers….be a part of the solution!

Part of our awesome group of manatee-lovers and scientists.