The Kindred Spirit Mailbox is a little known gem on a remote section of beach off of Bird Island, North Carolina. For many years, people who make that glorious beach trek with the sea at their left and the untouched dunes at their right, have penned their innermost thoughts in notebooks that are stacked inside the mailbox, marked by a flag along the way. The walk is worth every step. Along the way is an ocasional sand dollar, horseshoe crab, deceased sharks were in the sand. The air so clean, so vibrant. Walk that far, look back from where you came and realize how far you have come. My plan is to visit every year to track my own progress, trace my own steps to wholeness.
Yesterday while traveling to visit my mom, I tuned in to Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra radio. A familiar QED voice announces the music, composers, song writers and all that is what I love about Pittsburgh, the Steel City. The music was unbelievably stunning, lifting my mood, grounding my fears, holding my breath as I pictured geese high in the sky, honking and flapping their wings into the sunset to the concerto. I found home in that hour of immense talent, beauty in the chords on the harp. You can leave home, but home never leaves you.
It is so easy to know what I love. At any given day and time, my thoughts are with a trotting horse, graceful, strong and willfull. There is nothing on earth that compares to calling a horse that comes running through the field to greet you. I left the barn as a child when we moved in eighth grade. We had two black horses. My uncle spent time with me in the barn, teaching me early horsemanship. I remember the path outside the barn, can still see it with my mind. When I left, I did not leave everything behind. My body never forgot the feeling that comes with a memory of estatic joy of riding in the saddle, heading for particularly nowhere but out into nature. Could I trust that another time in life I would return to that very elemental love? Mounting Nutmeg years ago gave me that gift back. Spending time with her was what I needed to learn to trust, to realize my potential, to know it was safe to be myself with all my flaws. The trauma of divorce brought me back into that proverbial saddle, literally. It helped me pen a one and a half year Masters thesis on trauma in children of domestic violence. I studied the effects of cognitive bahavioral therapy versus therapuetic horsemanship, and designed a therapy program that is now a published scholarly journal at Walden University. Today my thoughts return to those beautiful young days in the barn learning, growing, grasping the reigns of life. I am not done yet. There is so kuch more to learn and do. Grateful every single day for those opportunities.
Not sure if real film is ever used in 2015, but today was the perfect day to test it out. The air was cool, clouds billowing and fluffy, sun shining, household chores all done so that there was nothing holding me back. My dad gave me one of his prized possessions a few years ago that I will forever cherish. It is the camera that took so many family photos so many years ago. There is not one thing modern about the Pentax. It is cumbersome, especially dangling from a thick strap around my neck. Add a helmet and jump on a ten speed bike and I was off to take some shots down the road. My first subjects were a couple of grazing horses. They never looked up from the graze. I continued riding, enjoying the air, the memories, the reason for being out there on a beautiful Sunday. I thought about all of the times we gathered around the tri-pod, waiting for the flash.
This gift from the heart is cherished and loved more than words.
Today I had the opportunity to meet a man who just had to show me this flower out on the A wing at mom’s retirement center. He shared the story of his garden tomatoes and how much he enjoys the flowers that the girls plant. I didn’t have much time, but I felt compelled to go with him to see the marigolds, dahlias, coneflowers and other flowering plants. He smiled from ear to ear. It gave him pleasure to see me photographing the very thing that gives him joy. Reminded me to take time. Do not rush through life. Revere the elderly. Hug your family. Hug a friend, or even a stranger, for you might be entertaining angels unaware.
For most evenings this summer, an elderly couple bring a high powered binocular and set it up at a look out point deck at a metropark that is known for many species of birds. Most evenings they are there, and are so willing to share their knowledge and love of birds with whomever happens to come along. We always have very interesting conversations about snowy egrets, barn swallows, blue herons, wild turkeys, owls and any wildlife. It isn’t so much what they share as it is what this couple represents to me. They are spending quality time, in nature, sharing their love of feathered creatures. Which gets them very high marks in my book. I enjoy every moment spent with them, chatting it up about sandhill cranes and birdboxes. They don’t know the depth of my appreciation for them and what they have shared with me. Blessings of a feathered kind.