Tag: Nature’s Teachings

Sweet is the Light

Sweet is the Light

_TSL3846On this Mother’s Day I am especially grateful to loggerhead sea turtle mothers who give me incentive to awaken before dawn, drive to the beach and walk along the Gulf just before, during and after sunrise. It gives me opportunities to photograph pure, rich color.

_TSL3886There are a very few moments in which to capture the richest, most precious light. Between the pre-dawn gray and post-dawn white there is a sweetness where color bursts forth from the water, earth and sky and everything the sacred sunrise kisses. The muted, soft pastels are transformed momentarily into rich colors of incredible depth. Then the harshness of daylight washes them into a faded expression of what they once were reminding me of the impermanence of life.

_TSL3929Ambitious architects from the day before provided a perfect surface for the perfect light to illuminate and I arrived at their castle at the perfect moment, when the light was at its richest. Some times things work out exactly as you would hope.

_TSL3925There were no sea turtle tracks on the section of beach I patrol but that’s only part of the reason I volunteer. I go for the sunrise because sweet is the light.



Whale Time

Whale Time

_TSL1859As I floated weightless with humpback whales below, I had never felt more present. Extended quiet moments floating in the peaceful sea offered an expansion of time as my mind opened to their minds.

I am forever changed, my DNA rewired into something different than before I entered whale time.

_TSL2010Gratitude expanded within my heart and I knew in those moments the true meaning of receiving…the gift…of the present.

The Bliss of Peace

The Bliss of Peace

Mother and Calf Bliss

I floated above the 45 foot long mother and calf in complete awe. It was my first humpback whale trip. And it was an in-water encounter. There was inner questioning…How will I react? What will I feel? Will I be afraid?

After witnessing the gentle cuddling and caressing of the baby by her very large mother, I floated in complete peace. I remember thinking as I floated in saltwater blue, So this is what deep peace feels like.

There have been amazing experiences I have somehow been lucky enough to have in my life…but humpback whale peace….it still lives within me. Every. Single. Day.

Countdown to Joy

Countdown to Joy

_TSL1578The next adventure is booked and already I heard spotted dolphins whistling and sharks gnashing their teeth. I had been putting the question out there, into the Void, “Where is my next adventure?” Just Monday I had posed the question out loud in query. The echo came rather quickly. A friend messaged me yesterday reminding me of an upcoming trip to Bimini and when I looked at the description and itinerary I felt immediate joy. YES!

Each of us gets lost in our own inner process as we prepare to enter the water.
Each of us gets lost in our own inner process as we prepare to enter the water.

Years ago, while in undergraduate school studying outdoor recreation, I learned that much of the satisfaction of a vacation or adventure comes from the moment a person begins planning it. The anticipation of the trip is where much pleasure is generated, not just the experience itself. I jumped into planning the logistics of the Bimini quickly and found everything coming together effortlessly.

Arranging flights was easy. Frequent flyer miles purchased the US portion of the flight and with each successful step of negotiating the details, excitement grew and joy began bouncing around within my mind and heart.

Spotted dolphins….every day. Sharks and baby shark encounters….oh, my gosh! Could anything be cuter than baby sharks? All those teeth in munchkin size bodies. (Sigh).

IMG_3487-2I realized today, after chatting with a friend who decided just this morning to go along, that too often we put off feeling joy. We don’t have to have an awesomely cool photography trip (or whatever makes you happy) on the horizon to get the internal joy juices flowing…every day we have the opportunity to be present with joy.

A little buddy checking out my permit vest in Crystal River NWR.
A ‘selfie’ with a little buddy checking out my permit vest in Crystal River NWR.

There’s no need to postpone joy or start a countdown to it. Every moment we can find joy…in spring birdsong, rainy days, sunny days, flowers bursting forth with wild colors. Or dreaming about our next adventure. I propose that we put ourselves on the fast track to joy by finding one thing each day (at a minimum) in which to celebrate and connect with our beautiful, open hearts. Who’s in?


Find Your Mountain

Find Your Mountain

_TSL2776Yoga in the courtyard was especially nice this morning. Mild temperatures made it inviting but mostly the past two days were somewhat crazy so creating time for meditative movement in nature was a priority this morning.

I plugged the iPod into the stereo system and made sure the outdoor speakers were on before walking outside. Soothing music, wind rustling through live oak leaves, the grandmother oak tree spreading her branches over the courtyard, over me, brought a feeling of calm.

_TSL2742I went through a nice, intensive flow and then heard, Find your mountain. I stood at the front of my mat and went into Mountain Pose and felt direction to remain in the pose through the song that was playing. I like to move, I like to flow! Stand still and listen, I heard. Still? Stand still?

If I’m not working on something I tend to feel at a loss. I don’t do busy work but find myself seeking a worthwhile project every day. Shooting images and processing them, writing something that I hope will inspire someone, meditating, doing yoga, my barre workout, cycling….being still is not easy for me, at least not outside of sitting meditation.

_TSL2756Mountain Pose in yoga is all about stillness and grounding….and being open but especially standing in stillness. While doing it today I was reminded of the message I’ve been getting for months now: Pause…wait….until the time is right. That’s not so easy for me. Aries are known to impulsive, impatient and ready to lead forward… Wait? Pause? Seriously? It has been an ‘interesting’ few months.

There’s a verse in the Tao Te Ching that is translated something like… “The Tao does nothing yet leaves nothing undone.” I thought of that verse as I was standing in stillness. Another translation… “The Tao never does anything, yet through it all things are done.” It seems to be telling me to allow Life to rise up and move through me and do what needs to be done, without trying to control it or orchestrate it. My path will naturally rise up through me if I can be still and listen and then be ready to act when the time is right.


When I ‘hear’ messages as strongly as I have the message to wait and pause, it usually means something big is coming. When there is much to do it’s awesome to be able to have the skill of stillness and non-doing as a resource to tap into when things get rushed or pushy. I can carry this grounded energy forward into whatever task awaits.

As I was standing in Mountain Pose I understood the value of having the ability to stop and pause and stand strong and grounded in stillness. This is where clarity can be found and where inner guidance awaits.