Tag: nature

Sunrise on the Shore

Sunrise on the Shore

I awakened just before 5am and hurriedly dressed for 46 degree, windy weather. I couldn’t imagine a sea turtle mama crawling ashore in this cold May weather to dig a nest and lay eggs but regardless, the dedicated sea-turtle-loving members of Share the Beach excitedly began nesting season patrol this week. No complaints about the early hour, wind or cold.

simonelipscomb (2)I arrived to pick up a team member twenty minutes early so walked over to a marshy area, set up my tripod and enjoyed a few minutes of creative flow as the canvas spread out before me. Ahhhh…..my favorite time of day.

Just before the sun peeked out from the eastern horizon, when the essence of life felt so full, so pregnant with possibilities, I listened as bird song urged the birth of another day. Wind whipped around me and the marsh grass whoosed and shusssshed in answer.

simonelipscomb (9)Then on to the Gulf and my walk began after I was dropped at the section I walk. Alone except for a few sanderlings and willets wandering the foam-whipped shoreline for tidbits of breakfast. Blowing sand made a hazy layer of air and earth as the tiny quartz bits blasted my protected legs. Good morning Mother Ocean, I whispered.

simonelipscomb (6)I walked in a graveyard of shells, the host animals were killed when dredges pumped sand back on the beachfront. It isn’t often such whole shells wash ashore here and the thought of such loss of life, even for such small creatures, hung heavy in the wild air.

simonelipscomb (8)While I celebrated the beauty around me, I grieved the multitude of ways humans have negatively impacted our beautiful planet. Walk softly, dear friends. Walk gently upon this place.

Morning Courtyard Dance

Morning Courtyard Dance

simone (4)Warm air, heavy with the scent of jasmine, wrapped around me as I entered the courtyard. It had only been four days but during that short time so much had changed.

The wall of jasmine was the most obvious change as its delicious smell mixed with gardenia created a mood-altering experience through scent. And as much as I wanted to explore, communion with the river came first.

RIVER2 (3)Layers of humid air hung heavy over the water as my board sliced through the mirror-slick surface. My body longed for movement after traveling and sitting so much over the long weekend. I amped up the pace and had a great workout, during which I discovered the osprey babies I have been monitoring had hatched. Mama Osprey was feeding them as I paddled under their nest atop the high pole. This morning my river prayers were of thanksgiving for these new lives.

Upon returning home, I walked out to my garden and saw baby jalapeño peppers, baby tomatoes, and baby satsumas hanging green and full of potential. Growth was the theme of return to my beloved home.

After communing with my plant friends I turned on my favorite classical music in the speakers outside and glided around the courtyard greeting the beauty exploding everywhere. Such life!

simonelipscomb (2)The grandmother oak tree in the center stood watching and when I finished, she called to me. I laid my hands on her rough bark and felt her strength as I offered up a prayer of gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate the day with a morning courtyard dance.

Ocean of Love

Ocean of Love

simonelipscomb (6)From a place of deep relaxation a vision emerged. I was in a vast Ocean, deep indigo in color and filled with beautiful creatures. A huge humpback whale echo-located me and swam very close. Harpoons with explosives sought him and massive nets and I urged him to swim away and escape. The ship came closer and closer and as his mate I urged him to dive deep. He constantly put himself in harm’s way to help others. In a frenzy, I swam trying to push his massive body down, deep into the blue depths. He sang to me and in pictures I saw his body taken into the ship that hunted him and watched as it took him apart, piece by piece. The thought came….people will pick his bones clean until there is nothing left.

And with one last surge of energy, I rammed him as the ship hit me. He was free but I was broken.

My whale body sank into the Void yet my consciousness remained. In that moment I knew that the essence of who I am lived on. It was love that drew me to him and love that kept me there. It was love that blocked the ship and kept it from breaking him.

I heard whale song and ocean sounds and felt total peace. Complete peace. As I opened myself to love, all fear disappeared.

And I knew that love is everything, in everything and available in endless supply. And because of this, I have everything I need. This is an abundant world of love.

simonelipscombMy gigantic whale heart could hold love in unimaginable quantities and be a channel for it….for life force that is, in essence,  love. What keeps us from swimming in this endless supply of love with conscious awareness? Are we so afraid of losing our ‘self’ or ego that we hold back and refuse to let the fires of love consume us, transform us?

I drifted back from this place of surrender, this place of unlimited abundant love, into my human form. With much to ponder I spent time in silence, listening and writing.

simonelipscomb (4)Love is like an ocean of vast immensity and we are like fish swimming in this limitless ocean begging for water. We forget we already have love and therefore, everything we will ever need.

As I breathe in, I breathe in love. It is the fabric of this physical world. The life force that holds it all together.

simonelipscomb (8)Nobody can withhold love from me because to receive love is as simple as inhaling. Nobody is gatekeeper for love coming to me except me.

Our minds create separation from Source…God…Great Spirit. Our thoughts create this feeling of aloneness. How could we ever be alone or separate from the Universe, from God, when we are surrounded by It? Are a part of It?

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 7.

My daughter Emily in the Caribbean waters of Bonaire
My daughter Emily in the Caribbean waters of Bonaire

“Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls….when love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep…For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you….Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast. All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart……Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love….But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.” Kahlil Gibran

This passage from The Prophet narrates the journey the soul takes in an effort to find love…looking for it in others, in things, in titles, letting ego define it. Ultimately, finding love requires sacrifice of the ego, a laying down of  limits and limitations. And the realization that it is what created us, sustains us and breathes through us.

Photo by Ed Jackson
Photo by Ed Jackson of me and my buddy in a cave, Akumal, Mexico

Love is as close as the air we breathe, as we open to receive. We live in an ocean of love.

What Happened to Spring?

What Happened to Spring?

Pitcher plant sprinkled with dew.
Pitcher plant sprinkled with dew.

It was 80 degrees yesterday. This morning was warm and in fact, I had the doors open. It started raining and I went upstairs to finish cleaning my home. Then I began cleaning my desk and balancing the checkbook….which took a while. Suddenly I realized I was freezing.

The temperature had dropped and continued to drop as I hurriedly closed the doors and turned on the heat…again. And put on socks and a sweatshirt.

Spring arrived in January when my azaleas began blooming. They were bloomed out when winter arrived here on the Alabama Gulf Coast–somewhere around the beginning of March. Even though spring peeks through for a day or two, it has been very shy this year. The low tonight is near 40 degrees. This is definitely winter weather here.

Stanley Kubrick, my orange tabby companion
Stanley Kubrick, my orange tabby companion

With many of the past several days spent outdoors I really missed the sun, wind, soil….all the elements. However, today I simply wanted to cuddle in the recliner with a blanket made of orange cat boy. And though my productivity was high and the abode is now sparkling, I would like to send out an invitation for spring to return.

Effort Versus Payoff

Effort Versus Payoff

SimoneLipscombI drove over the Fish River high-rise bridge today and could see over Week’s Bay and out into Mobile Bay. I longed to be out on the water. It’s not like it is inconvenient for me to find water to launch my SUP board. It’s a matter of putting on my board shorts, surf skin top, hat, sunglasses, waist PFD, walking out to the garage, strapping the board onto the SUP wheels, grabbing my paddle and walking less than a quarter mile to the river.

The problem isn’t lack of water access. There are two main reasons I haven’t been boarding in a week.

First, I’ve been working very hard in my yard– garden, courtyard and shrubbery. Second, the wind has been screaming here. Even on the river, paddling hasn’t been especially welcoming with chilly (at times), strong wind.

Paddling this winter on the river
Paddling this winter on the river

I’m no paddle wimp though. I paddled all winter. Then March arrived. Twenty mile an hour breezes aren’t so fun. Stand-up paddlers become human sails catching any wind that is out and about. I’ve really been a bit spiteful towards the wind lately but it sure felt great as I raked today.

DSCN0109But the salt breeze is calling. The smell of salt marsh is a balm to my soul, a call to the home within myself. And so tonight, as I drift off to sleep, I will be thinking about a morning paddle in those 15-25 mph winds and will embrace the blow with appreciation that at least one direction will have some seriously great downwind action! Sometimes the effort is worth the payoff. Ya HOOOO!!!!