Tag: Nature’s Teachings

Soul Cycling

Soul Cycling

IMG_5022At 5.15am it was still dark outside but it was also cooler with lower humidity than we’ve had lately so the little LED light on the handlebar would have to do. My tactical, super-charged headlamp I usually wear on my helmet was missing in action.

It’s not that I was afraid of the dark. I just didn’t want to run over any snakes that might be warming their beautiful, slithery bodies on the paved trail.

I hadn’t been pedaling for more than a few minutes when a large shape swooped over my head…then another. Large birds but not owls. Perhaps a pair of nighthawks but there was no eerie vocalization. Just two large shapes disturbed by my passing. Sorry to wake you.

IMG_5029During the past couple of weeks after returning from the dolphin adventure I had not cycled. First, a nasty blister on my foot from a fin rubbing…even while wearing my super-cool scuba socks…kept me out of shoes. So no cleats. Then it was hot and so humid in the mornings I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But I missed the woods, the trails…the wildlife.

IMG_5031Terry Tempest Williams said, “My spiritual life is found in the heart of the wild.” In The Hour of Land she writes of her personal journey with some of our national parks. Her writing resonates with my own journey in nature and especially the state park in which I ride.

During summer breaks from high school and college I worked at Gulf State Park. After earning a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, I returned to work there as a state park naturalist.

IMG_5039The 6000 acres of nature are especially important in our area as they contain some of the last undeveloped coastal forests and beaches in the area. But politicians continue to chip away at what’s left of its wildness.

When I cycle there my soul is given opportunity to relax and connect with friends there…bobcats, pine trees, water snakes, alligators, live oak trees, gopher tortoises, egrets, eagles, hawks, osprey, cottontail rabbits, wild hibiscus, morning glories….a seemingly endless gathering of friends.

IMG_5037As I was riding through a pine forest there this morning I thought about how the trees take root, deep into the sandy soil and remain there throughout their lives. I found myself uncomfortable with the idea of being that grounded, that rooted into one place. But then I had an image of the trees being connected to each other and communicating with other pine trees all over the planet.

Not long ago I read an article about how trees not only communicate but send extra nutrients to those in their area that are not well. This was a scientific study, not a new age article. Trees cooperate with each other and send information back and forth, at least in their own forest. I got the impression this morning they ‘chat’ more long distance than we can imagine.

IMG_5025Each time I ride there some aspect of nature teaches me, gives me ideas to ponder. The physical exercise is great; however, it’s the spiritual expansion that keeps me returning even with summer weather that brings humidity, warmer temperatures and potential thunderstorms. Soul cycling is a necessary part of my spiritual practice. I find my truest self in the wilds of this amazing planet.


Blissed Out

Blissed Out

_TSL5687I felt a nudge against my arm as I slowly swam with a group of spotted dolphins. I glanced to my right to see which one of my buddies was getting my attention. It was a buddy alright but not a human friend. It was large, female spotted dolphin buddy.

_TSL5674I was in a large group of dolphins and was already quite over-the-top in feeling joy and was laughing profusely as thirty-three spotted dolphins surrounded us. I was right in the middle of the pod and was photographing, laughing and in such a state of bliss I wasn’t sure it was even real.

_TSL5656The nudge on my arm reminded me…IT IS REAL!

There’s no way I can write about this day’s amazing experiences in a short blog entry so I will take copious notes in preparation for it becoming a chapter in my new book, Cosmic Whale: Mystical Stories from the Sea.

_TSL5591As I processed images from the day the laughter returned and so did tears of joy that opened me to realms I only dreamed existed. I have such profound gratitude for everything and everyone who helps me on my path. These special beings have given me a gift that will continue to expand in my heart and mind long after I have left Bimini.

_TSL5653At one point only three of us floated among the pod of mothers, calves, adolescents and other females. Susan, Sarah and I were accepted as part of the gathering of females and their calves and teens. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. We were trusted with precious babies as the females slowly swam around us and circled us in a most amazing dance of connection, of Oneness.

_TSL5865Blessings to these amazing sisters and brothers. May they be protected, happy and have bountiful lives.

Mandala of the Heart

Mandala of the Heart

We were heading out to visit the dolphins and I found a quiet place at the front of the boat. I went within myself and opened my mind to dolphins.

After a while I began getting a visual image of two pink hearts that were intertwined. Then the two hearts expanded into an entire mandala of pink hearts. It was beautiful and it felt as if the dolphins gave me this image. I felt my heart open as I concentrated on it.

After the meditation ended I rejoined the group and we continued on and on….no dolphins for a very long time. And when we found them, they were in very murky, green water.

After easing into the water I noticed my mask was leaking profusely…to the point where it was filling completely with water even though I cleared it. I couldn’t see my camera readouts so I exited the water.

The camera went to a safe place, the mask got fixed and I entered the water again with the only intention of opening to an encounter with dolphins…nothing more. No photographs, no swimming hard to keep up. I simply invited the dolphins to join me and asked if I could join them and kept the image of the pink heart mandala in my mind.

I swam away from the main group of humans and found myself suddenly surrounded by mother spotted dolphins and their babies. One mom and calf…another mom and calf…another mom and calf. I had three mothers and their babies surrounding me, more beneath me and when I glanced back still more were coming. There was a minimum of 16 spotted dolphins surrounding me and possibly as many as 20.

As I gently swam side-by-side with the dolphins I was overcome with emotion….I could scarcely believe I was welcomed into the pod of dolphins who glided beside me as if I was one them. I wept profusely as I gently swam within arm’s reach of the largest female and her calf. And all the while the mandala of pink hearts remained in my mind.

I became one of the pod today as I surrendered to the gentle flow of love permeating everything around me….and within me. I felt welcomed back into my family, a lineage of wisdom that is indescribable.

It was as if I was welcomed home. Not in a geographical sense but rather a home within my heart and mind.

Lately I have had the feeling of coming full circle in my life, as if I’ve completed a very long and arduous journey to reach a place of completion that will give rise to a new beginning. Many years ago dolphins called me into this life and now they have helped me find a new beginning point.

Call me crazy, it doesn’t matter. I am home within myself and all is well. Oh, yes……all is well.

Later I got out my camera and captured one photo from the day...and it was enough.
Later I got out my camera and captured one photo from the day…and it was enough.




_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.

Mystical Predictions

Mystical Predictions

_TSL4466An email came from our team leaders this week about our schedule. I replied to everyone that we were going to have two sea turtle nests to process on Sunday. “Be ready,” I wrote.

_TSL4475Meanwhile it has been a very trying week topped off by one of my darling cat kids waking me at 2:30am this morning. Sleep never returned so I left the house at 4.30am and took my tripod and camera for some long exposure photography at the beach. Why not, I reasoned.

_TSL4503Conditions were near perfect. There was enough surf to give a very silky effect to the 30 second exposures. For half an hour, waiting for light, I stood on the beach and communed with the Ocean Mother while my camera perched on it’s carbon fiber legs soaking up the light and magic that was very present on the Gulf of Mexico this morning.

_TSL4493When it was light enough to see the beach clearly, I ran my tripod back to the car and began the mile and a half walk along the white sand. At 6.15am, 35 minutes after I began my walk, the most wondrous sight appeared.

_TSL4577A most-perfect V crawl and nest pit awaited discovery. I screamed in excitement, “YES!”I turned to the water and said with laughter, “THANK YOU!”Then I quickly fumbled with my phone to call our team leaders. As I was leaving them a message, a message from our All-Call system came in…we had another nest in the upper part of our section of beach. Immediately I remembered my prediction….be ready.

IMG_4518I hurriedly finished the rest of my walk and met up with gathering team members at the first nest. It was called in last night around 9.30pm and was already marked. This was incredibly good because human footprints completely covered the tracks. We would never have discovered it had the tourists not called it in.

We processed the nest, which had to be moved due to close proximity to the water. (Our federal permit gives us permission if the nest is too close to the tide line). But we couldn’t linger as we had nest number two of the day to process.

_TSL4642‘My’ nest had to be moved as well as it was too close to the water’s edge and high tide mark. Several of us dug (scraped carefully) to find the eggs. I found them!! Magic! Pure magic!

It had been a very rough week emotionally and as I stood at the water’s edge photographing at 5am I spoke with the Ocean Mother and shared my heart.  I felt a reply…We all make mistakes. Look…I had something to do with the birthing of __________ (politician). I laughed out loud at the thought. “Yes, I guess none of us are perfect,” I said out loud.

_TSL4578The Ocean Mother gifted me with the delight of her daughter turtle’s nest. At least that’s how I experienced it. When I arrived at the crawl it looked as if the sand had just been turned by her beautiful flippers. The eggs still had the beautiful mother turtle’s fluids fresh and stringy on them as we gently transferred them to their new incubation location, just above the high tide line.

The lesson for me this week has been to face all of who I am…the good, the bad and the ugly. There is a surrender that comes with that choice and in it are little gifts and treasures. Super-grateful for the photographs of the silky sea….which is how I see the energy of the sea…and for the mother loggerhead who gifted me with a perfect crawl and nest…and for the other turtle mother who made my mystical prediction a reality.

Psychic Simone predicts a nap in her very near future.
Psychic Simone predicts a nap in her very near future.

Here’s another prediction….I see myself taking a nap very soon. And I’m contemplating opening a psychic hotline very soon. Details to follow.