The sea and me

Being down here in Naples, Florida gives me daily access to one of my favourite forces of nature—the sea. Is there anything more soul-cleansing than sitting in warm sand, contemplating the body of water that stretches out before you to touch the horizon? Water is life and it doesn’t matter if I’m looking out over the sea, a lake, a river, or even a pond. Any body of water is the most beautiful sight to me.

In a salute to all my past seaside adventures as well as the one I’m on right now, here’s a poem.

The Sea1.delnor-wiggins pass beach

The sea draws me
Like a breath draws air.

I travel to destinations
Contingent upon the sea
Being steps from my room.

The sea is my anesthetic.

Its indigo expanse spreads
Like a rich swath of dark velvet7.very shelly beach
Beyond the airplane porthole.
The velvet is patterned
With tufts of white,
Like pulls of thread.

And then it changes—
Crystalline zircon shallows rising up
As the plane glides downward.

The sea is life. 

It fills and conceals4.pelican friend
The earth’s nooks and crannies
For as far as the eye can see.

It curves its back at the horizon
To meet the warmth of its companion
The sun.
Its mood changes from moment to moment,
Day to day.

Our emotions are connected,
Mine and the sea’s. 3.lots of waves today

Calm today, it mirrors
The slow rise and fall of my chest
As I breathe in
Its sweet saltwater scent,
Rest in its soothing whispers.

Tomorrow, it releases its displeasure
In a churning, foaming fury
That explodes viciously35.pelicans
Against the shoreline rocks.
Once spent, it laps relentlessly,
Quietly onto the sand,
Apologizing in gentle murmurs.

Sometimes, under a grey
And tired sky,
The sea attempts to shrug itself5.little egret on fisherman's bait pail
Into a mighty swell,
But nothing comes of the effort
And the surge abates with a sigh.
For the sea loses its sparkle
When its friend—the sun—
Departs.

The sea is eternity.

It existed long before us,
And will exist long after we’re gone.

 

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Enjoying the sunshine in Naples, Florida

30.palm treesI’ve been neglecting my blog this week for good reason; I’m on vacation in sunny Naples, Florida! I’ve been getting griping reports about the recent dump of snow and ice and cold weather at home from my family and friends. All I have to say is this: It sure sucks to be you! 🙂3.stork

 

 

 

This end of Florida, near the Everglades, is so beautiful. Although we’ve had some on and off rain today, it’s 72 degrees and I’m wearing a spaghetti-strap dress and flip flops instead of a fleece hoodie and three pairs of socks!
44.three pelicans

If you’re into photography, the birds and wildlife down here are awesome. The house we’re staying in backs onto a river and there’s no end to the turtles and ducks swimming by, as well as the blue herons, anhingas, ibises and other tropical birds poking around for food.63.anhinga

 

So I’ll try to post as often as I can over the next three weeks, but they will be sporadic.25.naples pier beach

Until then, the beach beckons.

 

 

Parenting is …

Hard frustrating joyful painful scary hilarious exhausting mind-boggling irritating delightful…

Unless you’re a member of the British royal family, parenting is the only job that requires your efforts 24/7/365 until the day you die. Think parenting is over once your child grows up? You think wrong! It’s never over. The worrying never ends. Your children will be in your thoughts at some point every single day of your life. They will continue to make you cry, laugh, lose sleep, etc., no matter what age they happen to be.

Parenting is the only job that does not include a paycheque. As a matter of fact, you pay to do it. And you will lose a lot of money doing it too.

No vacations. No raises. No promotions. There may even be times when you are alone with it all, struggling along without any support. Complaint/returns department? Nuh uh. And for those mostly sane, non-psychopathic among us (the majority of us hopefully), quitting this job is out of the question.

Parenting is the only job where you receive no confirmation whatsoever that you are doing it right until your conglomeration of mistakes and good choices have long been made (and don’t kid yourself—we all make mistakes…a lot of them). So it’s a very long time before you know if you’ve, for the most part, done a good job. Every day you blindly go where you’ve never been before, sometimes borrowing from the knowledge of others and hoping that maybe they are right.

As parents, we’re all artists in the process of creating flawed yet beautiful pieces of art that will forever be priceless to us.

 charcoal sketch_baby copyParent

Mother Nature has chosen to bestow upon you her most precious gift—a child. You accept this privilege, this honor, this title of Parent.

In your hands you hold a paintbrush. Not just any paintbrush but one that wields power that is as fragile as it is mighty.

In your hands you hold the potential to create an art form unique to any other. Striving to become an artist of great merit is your mission; from here on it is the full measure of your success.

The doubts and fears that ripen in your mind are washed away by Mother Nature’s soft sigh. Your work will not be easy. Your hand will not always be steady. You will make mistakes. To develop this masterpiece, you must be tenacious, your devotion unconditional.

You wear your new title of Parent like a spectacular jeweled crown. You begin your task with a pristine canvas created of your flesh and blood. The true test of your talent exists in your ability to add beauty to a form that is already exquisite.

Your paintbrush is poised above a palette dappled with virtues, every shade that you know to be right and good. Your canvas is ever so tiny. It looks fragile, but the heart of it is strong yet pliable, thirsting for as many colours as you can offer.

You approach your work with trepidation. But once your faith in all its glory is unleashed, you surge forward, fueled with ambition borne of the clearest, truest love. Every brushstroke of colour adds a new layer of richness and beauty. The most generous strokes add depth.

In your quest to become an artist of great merit, you also seek fortitude for your soul; that it may help you to always maintain a firm grip on the brush; that it may guide you with the wisdom to recognize the importance of keeping your palette fresh with colour. You need such strength to help you achieve the best work you will ever produce in your life.

You are a Parent. You are an artist.

It is your duty to create a masterpiece that will add grace to this world and enrich the future.

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