Posted in A bit of history, Autumn, Blast From the Past, Earth, Exploring, Family, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Love, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit

Today

Somewhere in Colorado. August 2010.
Somewhere in Colorado. August 2010.

Memory is like patches of sunlight in an overcast valley, shifting with the movement of the clouds.  Now and then the light will fall on a particular point in time, illuminating it for a moment before the wind seals up the gap, and the world is in shadows again.

~ Tan Twan Eng

My glasses. December 2005.
My (new at the time) glasses. December 2005.  (This is one of the first photos I took with my first digital camera.)

Morning.  Today is my last day to be 56 years old.  At least in this lifetime.  Yesterday I mentioned that I’d be writing shorter posts on the non-coffee chat days, and of course the mind, being such a trickster and contrarian, wants to write and ramble, ramble and write.  My mind wants to throw in lots of images, too.  Quite contrary.

Watching the light drift in. December 2006.
Watching the light drift in. December 2006 in what I called Sabbaticalville, but was really West Chester, Pennsylvania, where we spent about nine months in a small apartment overlooking the two main streets of this fun little town.

Today, during the early beginnings of this day, I read an essay that was a wistful and melancholy piece about missing things and experiences we once had, and I found myself looking back at what once was, but the sadness I felt, for just a few moments, was more about things that never were.  Silliness.  What was can’t be changed.  What was not can’t be changed either.

Getting ready to cross a scary (suspension) bridge, M waiting on the other side. A birthday hike in 2007.
Getting ready to cross a scary (wobbly suspension) bridge, M waiting on the other side. A birthday hike in 2007.  And yes, I did conquer, for the moment and for the trip back, my fear of heights and cross the bridge.

M and I are going to Assateague Island today to hike in the woods and walk on the beach.  It’s easy to be in the here-now while I’m walking and hiking, especially at the beach where the wind and sand and water conspire to keep you in the moment.  But in this present here-now, in the early morning hours, in the dark before the sun rises, my mind drifts backwards to the days of being younger, when everyone was young although I didn’t recognize the youth of my elders at the time.  That’s a funny thing, isn’t it?  How age is relative to our own age.

A present for my 50th birthday. December 2009.
A present for my 50th birthday. December 2008.

I don’t usually spend much time in the past, but there was a sweetness to going back through my collection of digital photographs.

When snowballs explode. On my birthday in December 2009.
When snowballs explode. The Exquisite Emma (oldest granddaughter) on my birthday in December 2008.  Looks like 2008 was the year of pink.

Someday I should break out the photo albums and scan a few pictures from the way-back past.

Exploring history. Robbins Crossing Historical Village, Nelsonville, Ohio. November 2009.
Exploring history. Robbins Crossing Historical Village, Nelsonville, Ohio. November 2009.
Izzy & Bella. November 2009. How is it possible I have no pictures from December 2009? Hard to believe I put the camera down for an entire month. Oh, wait! I remember now. I decided I was spending too much time taking pictures and not enough in the moment so I did put it down for a month.
Izzy & Bella. November 2009. How is it possible I have no pictures from December 2009? Hard to believe I put the camera down for an entire month. Oh, wait! I remember now. I decided I was spending too much time taking pictures and not enough in the moment so I did put it down for a month.

The sun is up now, and I should see to breakfast.  I think we’ll treat ourselves to breakfast burritos this morning.  Eggs, potatoes, veggie sausages, peppers, onions, and cheese (smoked Gouda) all scrambled together, placed in a tortilla, and slathered with homemade salsa.

One of my angels. December 2010.
One of my angels. December 2010.

I’ll have to finish this later since there are things to do before we go to Assateague and I take my last hike as a 56 year old.  M is going to make hot sauce this morning with the last of the jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax peppers from our garden.  That will likely make the kitchen a hazard zone for a while with all that hot pepper fumes in the air.  I have a few indoor chores to take care of, and then the day is ours for hiking or biking or whatever it is we decide to do.  Maybe a bit of both.

Visiting "A Christmas Story" house in Cleveland. December 2011.
Visiting “A Christmas Story” house in Cleveland. December 2011.

Evening.  I didn’t have time to finish this post before we left for our hike.  We ended up taking the bikes so we could cycle our way to a trail we haven’t taken before on the Virginia side of Assateague Island (Chincoteague).  We pedaled about a mile from the parking lot, enjoying the sunshine and the calmness of the day, parked our bikes on the convenient bike rack at the end of the trail, and hiked for a while.  We found another path that veered off towards the beach and took that after hearing the honking of geese, the bugling of tundra swans, and the quacking-laughing sound of ducks.  It was a good call.  We passed a large pool filled with all manner of water fowl including the beautiful tundra swans who winter here.

Two swans not swimming.
Two swans not swimming.

Past the pool we walked over the dunes and down to the beach where the ocean waved at us, over and over and over again.  The waves were small and we were the only humans on the beach.  We happened to arrive at low tide and there were lots of beautiful shells scattered on the beach.  On the dunes we saw paw prints that might have belonged to a bobcat (or a very big other kind of cat).

Coming up over the dunes.
Coming up over the dunes.

It was a lovely, almost perfect day.  We hiked a little over 4 miles, biked a little under 2 miles, and I can’t speak for M, but I greatly benefited from the fresh salt air and walking in the midst of such beauty.

Walking back to where we parked our bikes.
Walking back to where we parked our bikes.

It was a great pre-birthday celebration, complete with a stop at the Island Creamery where we indulged in some fabulous milkshakes.  I had the salty caramel, M had the Marsh Mud Chocolate Malted (Marsh Mud Chocolate is double chocolate, probably the richest, chocolate-y ice cream I’ve ever seen or tasted).  On our way off the island, we were treated to this:

A Wow! moment.
A Wow! moment.

Tomorrow I will be 57.  56 was pretty darn good, all things considered, and it is certainly ending on a high note.

Signing off on 56,

Robin

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

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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.

14 thoughts on “Today

  1. You are a youngster. I am 59. Happy Birthday! Many more. The photo of the swans is pure magic. I think you should frame it. The table with the hat is so atmospheric and inviting. The final shot of the dunes at the beach is truly lovely. You done GOOD! Happy 57th year young one. 😉

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  2. Happy Birthday, Robin! I recently left 57 behind, don’t worry– 57 is even better than 56! 😉
    Looks like the walk was wonderful – I love the beach no matter the weather. You always get the best sunsets!
    Love your beautiful, rosy-cheeked angels! ❤

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  3. Happy Birthday! 💖😊💖😊. Love the images! 💖😊. Age belongs to the body and has not really anything to do with who we are, all that matters is our soul, heart and mind 😊😊💖. I feel that my birthday is the day I celebrate how blessed I am to be alive! 💖😊

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  4. What good are memories if we don’t spend some time poking back on them now and then? Looks like your last day at 56 was a good one – certainly contained some beautiful scenes. As I recall, 57 was a good year for me, but it was mmmhmmm (17) years ago.

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  5. Happy Birthday, Robin! I hope your actual birthday is just as splendiferous as your pre-birthday. Fabulous photos to go with your somewhat wistful post. I love the swans–and that sunset is definitely WOW!
    (Not to mention the milkshakes. 🙂 )

    I have a December birthday, too. I’ll be 59 next 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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