Tag Archives: beach

(358)Christmas Eve, Lighthouse Beach



It’s all just water

this life

all aspects

coming, going

waves, ripples,

floods, waterfalls,

condensation, clouds,

humidity, dew, and frost.



Fort Myers Beach, a

phantom in the distance

a haze of buildings

blending to white

cloud sky.



On the ground

Healing in motion

comes up from the earth

through my spine

       to my mind and heart.

The waves sounds

constant and rhythmic,

coming through my

chest cavity

my ear cavity

       to my mind and heart.

The sun direct on me

warm, but not hot

drenching me in its

yellow goodness

       brightening my mind and heart.



How do I love

     that wave

Yes — the one

that happened

in the time it

      takes for a breath

     in and out.

How do I love it in

all of its white frothy

glory, saying to me,

I’m here,

I’m gone,

it was fun.

How do I love the next

wave, and the next?

Why is there so much to love?



(289) Sunset Memories

Just woke from an after school nap, and I’m getting ready to make a teriyaki stir-fry dinner. I had almost forgotten I haven’t blogged yet today.  Then, thanks to Facebook memories, I was reminded of five years ago this evening when my sister and I took her two boys to sunset at Bunche Beach. I know this week has been a lot about the beauty of Southwest Florida in October–I can’t help it. When the weather drops out of the constant 90’s where it has been since May, it is cause for celebration. Here are a few photos from that night, with spontaneous captions.

2010 was the year that Margie and I began to live closer to each other than we had since 1977.
2010 was the year that Margie and I began to live closer to each other than we had since 1977.
It was a beautiful night with sandbars for Ricky to run on as the sky glowed around him.
It was a beautiful night with sandbars for Ricky to run on as the sky glowed around him.
No matter where we are or how we are feeling, the big sky is always there to soothe us.
No matter where we are or how we are feeling, the big sky is always there to soothe us.


(287) On Vacation

Today started out rocky. I was still feeling that lingering tiredness that is part of the existence of every teacher first quarter. I had an unpleasant experience at a meeting. And then it was time to teach — I had to pull all the positive energy I could to move forward.

Then it all started to turn. I watched as my kids gave smart insights into the issue we’d been studying this week. I watched and participated as they worked extremely hard on making their short answer responses just right. A girl took it on herself to figure out a rap beat to a Shel Silverstein poem and performed it for us all. I started to smile. I wasn’t tired any more.

The day continued in that vein. My 8th graders worked on shared Google docs creating psychological profiles of the insane murderer in Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart.” My English Language Learners busted through their blocks of similes and metaphors and wrote little poems using each. I was still smiling when it was time for parent pick-up duty.

I saw how blue the sky was as I waited for cars to fill up. And on the way home, I knew that I had busted out of my own block today. And that is when I knew the perfect thing to do this evening.

When I got home, I proposed to Jim that we head down to Ft. Myers Beach to our favorite eatery — Pete’s Upper Level (previously Dockside.)  It was a perfect evening for a crunchy grouper and some chicken wings and a local brew (Gateway Gold.) A performer was playing some great music — Jimmy Buffett’s “Pencil Thin Mustache;” Lyle Lovett’s “If I Had a Boat;” Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”  So, so perfect.  Just the thing to refresh me totally — the feeling, if only for a couple hours, that I was on vacation.

Matanzas Pass, Ft. Myers Beach
Me October 15
Perfect fall night on Estero Island
Jim relaxing
Jim relaxing
sunset 10:14:15
And the sky began to get that sunset glow…
Then night fell.
Then night fell…

(266) One Hundred More to Go

I’m dried up on ideas for writing today. Then I remembered that I am committed to just one hundred more posts on this blog this year, and my year is up.

I’m happy, but it feels weird.


I came to the idea of the Five Questions last New Years Eve during the day. I thought of making a daily commitment, and took myself to the beach to think clearly about it. The day was stunningly beautiful and the tide was way out, so I had a chance to walk in areas of Bunche Beach I don’t usually get to see. I felt an opening by being in nature, by trees and inlets I don’t usually experience, and I said yes to this adventure.

Bunche 1

Right now I am in the midst of a busy week, but the writing continues. And that is what I have liked about this.  It has forced me to get to the page every day. The Five Questions have gently prodded me to see beauty, to think about how to be alive, how to be human, and to recognize areas of change and growth. I will do this without the commitment of the Five Questions blog, but not in a public way.

I have ideas of where I’d like my writing to go from here. But for now, I’m satisfied I have made it this far and that so many have traveled with me.


(238) North Carolina

I have written a lot about the family cabin we used to visit in the mountains of North Carolina. This is the story of my first trip to North Carolina and how it turned into a better trip than I ever imagined.

My cousin Doreen was getting married in Greensboro, and I desperately wanted to make the trip. At the time Jim and I were living together and he fully supported our making a trip down for Memorial Day weekend, 1983. We drove down on Friday, with the wedding being on Sunday.

I had told Jim that I had never seen the ocean, but he said we would be too far away to make a trip to the beach. I put it out of my head.

On Saturday morning we decided to drive over to the Raleigh/Durham area where there was a huge outlet mall. This was back when “outlet” meant a true outlet — you could get real deals.

We spent some time at the mall — I remember I bought a few pairs of earrings — and then Jim said, “Let’s drive to the beach.”

I was so excited! It was about a three hour drive from where we were, but would be longer to get back. We hit the road, driving a highway and then a back road to Carolina Beach. I got to see the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time, collected some shells, saw a live crab hiding in its hole, and enjoyed the sand and the waves. I had never been in anything called a beach town before, so was delighted with the surf shops and beachwear and hot dog stands. It was a long day of driving, but so worth it!

Jim at the tender age of 40, Carolina Beach
I wasn’t dressed for the beach!

We didn’t get back until well after dark, and the wedding was the next day.


We remain close to Doreen and David, even with the miles and the years between us. Seeing them during the summer is now a tradition, as they now live in Asheville, after years in Tennessee and Virginia. Next year they say they will come to Florida. I hope they do. I would love to show them the Gulf and all the beautiful nature we have here.

Doreen, me, Jim, David Asheville, 2013

(212) July 31 Hosanna

Yesterday I read a poem called “Hosanna”  by Ginny Lowe Connors. I noticed that the poem was one long sentence, fourteen lines long (but not a sonnet), and asked a question along with a ton of imagery. I decided this was my next mentor poem.

Today I visited the beach.  I think this is only the second time since school got out, which is a crying shame, but there it is. I wrote my Hosanna poem. Hosanna means many things: adoration, praise, joy, deliver, save. It all applies.

My poem and photos to support are below. August is upon us. Enjoy your day!

July 31 Hosanna

I wonder if I will remember this morning

waking at 4:20, to the beach by sunrise,

the high tide on the way out, a cool breeze

blowing, two pelicans in the sky, smooth clouds

and brilliant sun over the mangroves, hundreds

of shore birds, a Great Blue Heron on the end

of a mud flat meditating on the southern horizon,

morning glory vines decorating the sandy edge of the path,

a little red crab making his getaway, and my shadow

with me, walking past a community of Ruddy Turnstones,

on to the end where the stream from the bay enters

the mangroves to nourish and replenish,

the last day of July, joyfully saved by my own stillness

and willingness to see.

I wonder if I will remember this morning
the high tide on the way out, a cool breeze blowing
smooth clouds and brilliant sun over the mangroves
hundreds of shorebirds
Great Blue Heron on the end of a mud flat meditating on the southern horizon
little red crab making his getaway
past a community of Ruddy Turnstones
up to the end where the stream from the bay enters the mangroves to nourish and replenish
the last day of July, saved by my own stillness and willingness to see

(89) Blue to Blue


The water–if it isn’t water

what is it?

it’s the moment

it’s a treasure

it contains secrets

the surface a mirror

a mirror of serenity


the movement is a reflection

of impermanence.

shadows fall as it moves

waves and wavelets

invisible tides.

my toes sanded

with illusions


but easily

brushed away



blue green to

blue white to

blue blue blue.

not a cloud

no where to hide

no rain in sight

new beginning!

Note: this was written at the beach while I was challenging myself to be a creative explorer. The goal was to look at one thing and learn something different. Not sure I have succeeded, but it was a start.

(81) At the Beach, All is One


Before I headed to the beach today, I read these words by Joan Borysenko:

During the day, if you experience scorn, think about how it teaches the importance of honor (respect). If you feel fear, reflect on how it helps you value peace. Become spacious enough to hold opposites.


So, I arrive. The clouds are magnificent angels. Locals and tourists are already crowding into the small strip of beach. The tide is out. The mudflats are busy with people seeking treasures.

I look for opposites. But at the beach, all is one.


I come to reflect on decisions and the opposites I see in my own life. I find it difficult to think of things unpleasant as my bare feet sift through the powder white sand and I avoid the nests of broken shells that will stab them.  At the beach, it is just all one.


I let it go. Look at the clouds. Breathe in the fresh spring air. Feel at one.


Taking the path back, I know the opposites will show up soon enough.

For now, though, it is all just one.