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The witness

On the dock early this morning.
On the dock early this morning.

Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself.  Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies.  We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.

~ Alan W. Watts

Through the garden maple.
Through the garden maple at sunrise.

When I go out to watch the sunrise or the sunset, sometimes I’m not sure which way to go.  It’s always tempting to go in the direction of the sun.  East in the morning, west in the evening.  That is, after all, where the main show is happening.

Looking west at sunset.
Looking west at sunset.  (Sunday evening.)

But there are some days when I turn my back on the main show in favor of something else.  I never know what the something else will be.  It could be something small, like the otter splashing around in the creek when I go west at sunrise.

Spending time with the otter this morning.
Spending time with the otter this morning.

And honestly, the otter is no small thing as I get a lot of joy watching him splash around in the creek or rising up to get a good look at me.  I recently did a guided visualization exercise in which I was supposed to visualize my best day in 2015 from start to finish, in as much detail as possible.  The otter reminds me a lot of what my mind came up with because my visualization included a lot of playfulness.

Facing east this morning, looking out at the lagoon.
Facing east this morning, looking out at the lagoon.

There are days, like today, I get lucky and I don’t have to choose a direction.  I have time to explore and branch out in different directions.  First I went east, watching as the light from the rising sun brought color to the clouds.

Looking out over the meadow.
Watching through the fog.

Then I went west through the woods, towards the dock and the creek where the otter and I greeted each other.

Shrouded in the misty morning.
Shrouded in the misty morning.

The otter knows how special the early mornings are out on the creek.

Magical morning.
Magical morning.

The geese know it, too.  You can hear them honking about it, telling us to wake up and see the beauty of the morning, or put down whatever we’re doing in the evening and go watch the sunset.

A small flock of geese overhead.
A small flock of geese overhead.

Life is like music for its own sake.  We are living in an eternal now, and when we listen to music we are not listening to the past, we are not listening to the future, we are listening to an expanded present.

~ Alan W. Watts

Morning memory.
Morning memory.

It’s easy to let the present moment expand at sunrise and sunset.  The trick is to practice it during the rest of the day or evening, sinking into the everyday moments wholeheartedly.  It feels like magic when it happens.

Boathouse.
Boathouse.

That’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this mixed up Tuesday.  The weather isn’t quite sure what it wants to do.  Sunshine, clouds, sunshine, rain, more clouds, sunshine.  The good news is that it’s warm (in the 50’s again) so who cares?  Sunset is at 4:44 PM again.  Meet you out on the dock if it’s not raining and we’ll see what there is to see.  If it rains, the porch will be good enough.  We’ll stay dry and we’ll still be able to look out over the garden and the backyard.

Pretty in pink.
Pretty in pink.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today’s joys:  Learning from the otter; sitting on the dock at sunrise watching the magic of clouds and fog mix with light and color; the sound of the geese honking overhead; little birds in the woods leading the way out; a general feeling of overall well-being.

 

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

29 thoughts on “The witness

  1. Wow, these images are breathtaking in their mustical beauty. The mix of mist light and water is astonishing and dreamlike….really stunning photos, and I love the gentle meander of your words, and the playfulness of otter. A beautiful post overall 🙂

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  2. Beautiful photos, Robin. It’s always lovely to take a sunrise walk with you, especially since I’m usually too cozy in bed to get up to see the morning sights. I love the mist and the clouds; they really do make for great mystical images. 🙂

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  3. It can be rather challenging, holding onto that special kind of magic you feel in the early mornings and late afternoons. Somehow, it gets lost in the glare of the day. Perhaps that’s why the little otter, and other creatures, are not seen so much during the day. I notice it with the birds, they just vanish, only to return again at magic hour. 🙂

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  4. Maymont Park has two otters displayed behind glass and they love to swim down to entertain the audience. It is hard to believe they are aggressive little hunters out in the wild, yet so precious in captivity.

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  5. Your morning mist is simply beautiful. And how delightful to have the company of an otter! They’ve also struck me as such playful sorts. Your header with the peaking otter head is adorable.

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  6. Great line: “Life is like music for its own sake.”
    There’s something centering about sky, water, sunrise and sunset. Like you say, the trick is to hang onto that all day. (and pity those stuck in boxes who can’t see the skies)
    Thanks for the lovely views from lens and word (and cute otter)

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    1. I marvel at how curious (and seemingly unafraid) the otter is, Jane. I have never read Wind in the Willows. I have it on my bookshelf. I will move it to the top of the stack so I can read it next. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve never read Wind in the Willows!?!?!? Perhaps I am foolish but in some ways it defines my life. It is so profoundly melancholy and joyful at the same time, and it is all about place. Just wait ’til you read it. Jane

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  7. Lovely images and important message, very well said. Nicely done, Robin! Just a couple of days ago (about the same time you posted this), I gave a presentation to my photo club on “Staying inspired while staying put” – all about finding & keeping inspiration in a single place (in my case, home), by being present and open to the surprises, small details, and changes you can see there if you choose to look. We were definitely on the same wavelength this week!

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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