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More playing with shadows. That phrase carries so much innuendo, doesn’t it? Shadows are fascinating toys in photography, playmates in life (for haven’t we all played with our shadows on the sidewalk in the sun?), and things that creep around in the corners of the darkest rooms in our souls. On the playa, they are simple. There are shadows from shells, as we saw in yesterday’s post, shadows from palm trees, shadows from palapas. You are probably saying, silly Seasweetie, these are not shadows on the sand. It’s just wet sand washed by the waves. Perhaps you are right. But perhaps as shadows inhabit our memories, the sand holds the memory of the waves that move and touch it.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth.” — Vladimir Nabokov

Daily gratitudes:
Spending the day helping a stranger who is now a new friend
Starting House of Cards on Netflix
Windchimes
The caw of a lone seagull
That Kelsea and I have little things that make us miss each other

 

 

My heart is made of sand and sea and sun and shells, touched by the occasional storm and moved by passing trade winds.

Next to the dining space – for it could not be called a room – of what I think of as “our place” in Mexico stood a tree, its branches decorated with hearts. Glass hearts of pink and red and turquoise, carved folk art hearts, silver hearts in which we could see the reflections of ourselves, beautifully distorted, and hearts of shells, like this one. Delicately constructed, yet each piece unique, each element far stronger than one could imagine, having been tossed and tumbled by waves for years while remaining unbroken. Not unlike my heart.

Shell of my Heart
Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “Everybody needs a seashell in her bathroom to remind her the ocean is her home.” — Sue Monk Kidd

Daily gratitudes:
Attending my first caucus
New friends who are awkward kindred spirits
Lunch today with MKL
Having my toes tucked under Mr. Man
The amazing sky and light tonight

 

Today was one of those blue days when I just want to crawl into the spiral of a shell and stay there until my spirits lift. But that’s not the way life – or depression – works. On these days. sometimes, my mind wanders to things that made me bluer, and then I have to shift my perspective on those things to see the blessings inside them. They’re in there, just like a conch is nestled within the spirals of its shell.

Conched Out
Surf City, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space.” — Annie Kaufman

Daily gratitudes:
That my mother used to let me eat frozen peas in the summer when it was hot. They were so good and sweet, one at a time.

That I could afford to pay Kelsea’s first quarter college tuition today

The “golden hours” even when I don’t have my camera

The art collages on my bedroom walls

Watching “Catfish” with Kelsea – it’s her favorite show

Something simple for tonight.

A Simple Arc

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” — Lao Tzu

Daily gratitudes:
Tonight’s sunset
Time with furry friends
That Kelsea comes back tonight
Ratcheting down my anxiety
Crescent moons

Fishing is a big part of most island communities, and Topsail is no exception. While the shrimp crop is smaller than it used to be, due to overfishing, you can still see the shrimp boats trolling off the coast early in the morning, followed by a flock of seagulls. I, unfortunately, did not get up early enough to see the boats this trip, but these baskets are waiting for a catch.

Waiting for Todays Catch
Surf City, North Carolina

Quote of the day: “The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.” — Ernest Hemingway

Daily gratitudes:
Hanging with my former animals
Prayers and intentions
Recovering items dear to my Mother
A cooler day
That Kelsea and Pat made it to Seattle successfully

All pink and blue, unlike our swirling yet unfulfilled storm clouds here in Lafayette this afternoon. And speaking of babies – or those who are no longer babies – my darling daughter goes off to college orientation tomorrow. Then she comes back, which is good, but then she will go away again. I guess that is the way of it. As today’s quote says, we all leave a bit of ourselves behind when we leave a place. I have left much of myself at Topsail. My darling daughter will leave much of herself here. But we both have so much more to see and do and give, and an endless amount of ourselves to leave behind in the places we will love.

Baby SKy
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” — Pascal Mercier

Daily gratitudes:
Making it through a tough day
MKL
Sharing Kelsea’s excitement about college housing
Our two new wooden parrots
Voyager

One of the greatest challenges of seaside photography for me is the timing between taking my camera outside of an air-conditioned car or house and taking a shot. My timing was suberbly off in this instance, but I thought the condensation created as spooky a sand picture as I’ve seen.

Smudged Sands
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.” — Edward Lear

(As an aside, this quote is from The Owl and the Pussycat. My Mother put the poem to a tune, and sang it to me when I was little. Once I had Kelsea, I remembered it, and sang it to her. My Mother heard me singing it to her once, and was so delighted that I remembered her little tune, that has now stood the test of time and generations.)

Daily gratitudes:
Having Kelsea home safe from her long road trip
Seeing my husband today (since we don’t live in the same house yet)
How nice the word ‘husband’ feels in my spirit
A slightly cooler day
Mr. Man laying on my heart in the middle of the night

Storms have been abundant the last few days…hoping that the weather is good for the wedding day.

Jolly Roger Pier
Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.” — Charlotte Bronte

Daily gratitudes:
Pool at Homeport
Looking for shark’s teeth
Watching Kelsea and Michael grow into their relationship
A good sleep with my love
The cry of seagulls
My Mother’s spirit subtly shifting things in the beach house

Only a few days away…the sun will be rising from the ocean, instead of setting into it, but I’m not particular. In the meantime, I had to see my little baby girl off on her first cross-country drive last night – she’s going with three other girls, and I think it’s just a taste of how hard it will be to send her off to college. At least this trip, I will see her on Friday.

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Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Quote of the day: “Bring me the sunset in a cup.” — Emily Dickinson

Daily gratitudes:
A good night’s sleep
Outlander Book #2
Packing
Having a strong, independent woman as my daughter
Juggling to-dos

While we’ve had two gorgeous days here in Colorado, I find myself missing Exuma and Anegada. Missing Anegada, the home of my heart, is nothing new, but missing Exuma is. When we were there for the first time (November 2013), the water was amazingly warm and buoyant. I could float standing straight up. I could carry MKL around in the water. There was no beach there that was not brilliant white sand and dazzling azure water. We could walk out 1/4 mile from the shore and still be only knee deep. And it was a place which neither of us had been to before, so our memories are just that – OURS. Without any shadows or ghosts of the past. I liked that. And so, I continue to share these images. Because I love to remember.

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: “Ghosts don’t haunt people–their memories do.” — Alexandra Bracken

Daily gratitudes:
Walking
My mini-workout today with Christine
Beautiful days
Leashed bird dogs approaching sitting pigeons
Big storms

 

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