Often, I’m thinking of home as our little places of shelter here on earth. Big or small, grand or humble – they are our beloved homes. We rest our sore muscles with sleep. We feed our hungry bodies with food. We start and end our days in our kitchens, our bedrooms, our homes. All of that takes place on our larger home: our beautiful and wonderful earth (the very one we treat so poorly). And yet, what does earth do? In the sky and the vastness up above, earth keeps giving us beauty. One sunrise, one sunset, one stunning display of sunlight and clouds at a time – we have beauty up above on a consistent basis.
I was in Florida a few months ago and every time I looked up the sky it was a masterpiece. The proof is below.
Rumi described love as “flying toward a secret sky”. These skies filled me with love for earth, our beautiful home.
It’s World Turtle Day! These guys have taken a beating from us humans and need our love and protection to survive.
Turtles make me so very happy. The big ones, the little ones. The ones on logs in a lake and the ones swimming the ocean currents. Who wouldn’t want to live in a protective shell, always there for rest or retreat but able to pop out anytime as if to say, “hello world,” as this Mississippi diamondback terrapin is doing?
Scuba diving is a delight in many ways, from the silence of the deep to the diversity of the underworld. Swimming with loggerhead sea turtles is by far the most incredible moment I’ve had while breathing underwater.
I love how the white space makes this loggerhead turtle look free and happy.
I’m dreaming of how cute this would look on my office wall.
Let’s help all turtles be free and happy by doing our part to protect our earth: our home and theirs.
Today is the International Day of Forests. This day is meant to shed light on the important role that forests play in our lives and the important role we play in protecting them. A forest “is a large area full of trees, usually wild.” I wonder if that word, usually, will still be in the definition a decade from now as our wild spaces become more rare. A land of trees, wild or not, is worth our every consideration.
Two years ago, I was walking in a forest in northern Pennsylvania. It was a day of perfect sunshine and blue sky and I was happy in the company of the trees. While walking, a flash of white caught my eye. It was a little wild daisy that caught in my walking stick. I’ll never forget it. Nature always gives so much and on this day, nature literally handed me a flower!
May Mr. Frost’s words serve as inspiration for us to keep our own promise to protect our forests.
On a scuba trip about eight years ago in Grand Cayman I met an octopus. Maybe it was an ordinary octopus, but to me it was extraordinary. My dad remembers every detail of a dive and tells me that fifteen minutes into our dive he heard me scream through my regulator. He says it didn’t sound like a scream of fear – but one of surprise and delight. We will stick with that version but truthfully, night dives are scary. I cannot lie. I’m not a fearful person but I am terrified every moment of a night dive, terrified I will find myself alone in the black nothingness of the ocean deep. But, here’s the wonder – the moment I did scream from the “surprise and delight” of spotting the octopus, I felt no fear for the colors and beauty and movement of this creature were beyond compare. It allowed us to follow along as it hunted and fed for dinner, unperturbed by our presence and possibly enjoying the admiration of his audience.
My dad tells the end of the story best:
We watched our octopus hunt and feed, and were mesmerized by its behavior. Tickling the tiny crevices with its tentacles, the octopus would explore for crustaceans as well as small fish and bivalves. Suddenly it would balloon out, stretching the skin between its legs to block all exits when it encountered its prey. As we followed it along the coral fissures of the top of the wall, it eventually swam right off the edge, into the inky darkness of the open water. Spellbound by this bizarre creature, we watched as it danced with tentacles flailing the darkness, sometimes grotesque, sometimes poetic in its movements.
As always – it’s lovely to surround ourselves in our homes with the things that bring a smile to our faces and our hearts. Maybe it’s not an octopus for you but a tortoise, or an orangutan, or a hummingbird. Our memories and our minds fail, but what we put up on our walls and shelves keep us remembering special moments such as scuba trips with octopus encounters!