A vastly different lake today. No ‘sparkler of a day’ today. But, I’ll take this lake,and this view, any kind of day, any time. For me, it’s always a fine day to walk the beach, especially with my four-legged pal, and no matter what the weather. Especially today – a nice tradition to walk the beach before Thanksgiving dinner.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating today!
Not a lot of words needed. Not really.
Simply, a beautiful day at the beach yesterday.
Now, had I turned the camera just a few degrees to the right, you would have seen, maybe, 100 grade school kids involved in their school sports day: Cheering. Running races. Horns blowing. More cheering. It was quite a scene. And, it looked like so much fun!
Those kids, they had their beach bliss…a school day spent at the beach and a ton of fun activities! And, me, I had mine. I was looking for a big horizon, some blue sky, and a sense of space.
So, here it is….my kind of beach bliss!
August 28, 2013. Woodbine Beach. Late afternoon. Summer nearing an end. A misty day. An almost surreal quality to the light and the scene.
I love this image for the many stories that appear within it, like…
~A father in neon green swim trunks shaking out a bright yellow towel for his young daughter.
~A fellow, alone, sitting on a blue, collapsible chair, reading his book.
~A couple of friends, side by side, beach bags in hand, surveying the water.
~A sailboat, trailing a dingy, drifting by.
~Two blue umbrella’s providing shade or maybe just markers in the sand.
A group of strangers, tied together by a band of sand, a patch of lake and the last days of summer.
It was a beautifully, busy scene down by the lake this past long weekend. Groups of families and friends pitching umbrellas and settling in for a day of sun and fun. Picnics, sand castles, sun bathing, chit chatting, football tossing, soccer dribbling kinds of fun everywhere you looked.
Hard to believe that, in the midst of it all, it was possible to find a serene patch of lake and a moment of quiet.
But, as the sun was setting, I stood right at the water’s edge, and looked out at this…
I’m drawn back again and again, to the lake and the sky, and that line on the horizon. This time, a line of dark green, against a grey-blue and white sky.
And, I love the empty life-guard chair, standing vigil for summer’s return. Summer will come. Although, in this cold spring, it’s hard to say when.
For me, each day that I can see that line on the horizon, in winter’s cold, or on summer’s most dazzling sunny days, I count my blessings – so fortunate to have such a view, so nearby.
Happy Weekend, and apologies for the bit of ‘website weirdness’ as I made a mistake in transitioning my domain name, and lost a few days. Learning…all the time!
On this Easter Sunday, I’m thinking of my mom.
I grew up in a large family. 7 kids. And, every Sunday, we’d head to Mass. Like clockwork. It was no small thing getting seven small ones dressed and ready and out the door in time for Mass. The station wagon was packed. My dad would drive.
On Easter Sunday’s, the Easter Bunny would secretly arrive over night, leaving loads of chocolate and pastel coloured eggs. Breakfast would be had, some (not all!) chocolate would be consumed, and then, off to Mass we’d go. I remember we girls were dressed in straw hats with pastel coloured grosgrain ribbons especially for the occasion.
I loved the Mass. The mystery. The silence. The communion. For me, a sense of connection to God was nurtured. Through the Mass, and our nightly prayers at bedtime, prayer was born.
I didn’t like the fact that women couldn’t be priests. I was struck by this from a very early age. That the apostles were all men, I found this challenging. Who would be my role model for the walk with God, for the practice of faith. I struggled with this even as a youngster. My spiritual life was nourished, but, over time, my religious life faltered.
It’s been many years now since I attended Mass. I call myself a lapsed Catholic, because there’s something about growing up Catholic that stays with me. And, there is something about the Mass that stays in my bones. I attended, literally, hundreds of Masses over the years. I’m sure I could still recite the liturgy. There was a gift in it for me, for which I am grateful. But, my beliefs have outgrown the confines of the Church.
So, on this Easter Sunday, I will head to the Lake. I will seek out silence. I will enter into the mystery of the presence of God in my own way. (And, I will, no doubt, consume some chocolate!)
I will also think of my mom, who ensured we got to Mass every week. She doesn’t attend Mass these days either. Her beliefs have also grown beyond the walls of the religion, too. But, she opened the door to the idea of God for me, to the mystery of spirit. To the gift of prayer. For all of these things, I am so grateful.
On this day, I’m wishing you joy and peace in whatever you are celebrating, and in whatever way. Blessings.
Cross-posting today with the wonderful community of women at Vision and Verb. Click the button below, and head on over..and if you have a moment, visit the Vision and Verb Shoppe where we’re fund-raising for KIVA loans to support men and women around the world who want to start their own business.
It’s like a ritual.
Every day or two, I head down to the lake, with my beloved pal, Jasper, a four-year-old retriever-poodle mix. And, with my camera.
From November to the end of March, the entire beach is a leash-free area for dogs. It’s dog heaven.
Some days, there are dozens of dogs. Sometimes, only a few.
My pal loves it. He runs free, in wide-open space, and if the lake’s not iced up, he likes to wander into the water to check things out. Like I said, it’s dog-heaven!
For me, well, I won’t be putting my toes in the water anytime soon, but the rest of it – I love. The wide open space, the lake which changes every day, the shoreline, the friendly conversations with other dog-owners, and the unexpected love you get from pups who come round to say hi!
It’s all a bit of heaven for me, too.
Today, my pal and I made our way to the lake around lunch time. Not too many at the beach. The sky was hanging low over the water but, gratefully, it was rain in those clouds, not snow.
As usual, I took a number of images of the skyline. I love the simplicity of the horizon..where sky and water meet. Often, it’s its own unique shade of blue or grey. A thin line, running straight across the my viewfinder.
Today, something new. Today, with spring hinting at its arrival, there were birds in the water. A few ducks, who showed up as flecks of white on the blue surface. Barely perceptible. One moment, having a coffee clutch it seemed, the next disappearing below the water’s surface, and then popping up some place further along. It was a delight to watch them. Like Jasper, it seemed they simply enjoyed being able to play in the water.
And, then, silently, from out behind a peninsula, two swans, drifted into the scene. Elegant. Serene. Beautiful. And, just beyond the reach of my lens. Like the ducks, they were just a little too far away to capture. I tried. And, tried. But, they wouldn’t come close to shore. (No doubt, they were wary of a certain retriever-poodle mix who loves to mix it up with the birds!)
By that point, it had been a nice, long walk. I decided it was time to head back; to start the long walk across the beach, to the car. We wandered along. Me, looking through my lens to see if there were any finals shots before calling it a day. Jasper chasing leaves blowing in the wind.
And, then, we heard it. The call of the swans. They sounded their trumpets. I wasn’t sure if it was them. I turned back towards the lake, to see what it was. And, there they were. The two of them, in the flight. Soaring up from the water, and making an arc as they turned towards land, making their way to an unknown destination.
In flight. The two of them. Elegant. Serene. Beautiful.
It was not something I’ve ever photographed before. I”m not sure I’ve even seen it before. Not like this. Not so close.
I don’t know what called them into flight. What inner prompt said, it’s time to go. Perhaps, a ritual of their own. What ever it was, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sound and the sight of them.
Beauty. Serenity. Elegance. In flight.