Posted in Air, Beach, Books, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder

Before the storm

Just before sunset yesterday.

Expose yourself to your deepest fear, and after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.

~Jim Morrison

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Clouds gathering.

It’s very breezy today.  It continues to be hot and humid, but the wind feels good.  I hesitate to praise it since I know it’s coming from the outer bands of Hurricane Florence.  I hope that those who are in her path did what they needed to do to stay safe.  I hope those who decided to stay anyway come through unscathed.  As of this writing, the storm has not yet made landfall.  By all accounts, even with the weakening of the storm, things are not going to be good.

Not quite still, but calm enough for some wonderful reflections.

Earlier today I mentioned to a friend that I don’t understand my fear of storms.  There was a time when I loved storms, when I would go out in a good storm and feel exhilarated by the elements.  It was my experience with a tornado that caused me to fear storms, and that happened so long ago (30+ years ago) that I don’t understand why I continue to carry it with me.  If I could somehow erase the memory of that experience, would I go back to appreciating storms?

Goodnight, sun.

I’ve read that fear keeps us from experiencing all of life, and I believe that to be true.  I’m not saying you need to be able to stand outside in the middle of a hurricane to experience and enjoy life.  That would be foolish.  But there is a difference between foolish and fearful.  Maybe not as much as I think there is.  I am reminded of The Fool in Tarot and the willingness to trust, to take a leap of faith.

A city of clouds on the horizon.

I am currently reading the book Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World by Robert Kaplan.  It’s the September pick for Now Read This, the NY Times/PBS Book Club.  I’m about half way through the book.  It’s interesting, but I find myself critical of the way the author (so far) appears to be making excuses for those who voted for the current U.S. president.  Mr. Kaplan wrote about the history of the expansion to the west in the continental U.S. while also writing about his travels from the east coast to the west coast.  He also wrote about the people who were most likely to vote for the current occupant of the White House, and I am reminded of all the newspaper articles that have come out asking us to try to understand, to sympathize and empathize, with those who would support such a man.

Hints of color in the clouds.

Yes, we do need to have some understanding.  Maybe even sympathy and empathy.  What I don’t think we (or the media) need to continue to do is excuse away the xenophobia, the misogyny, and the racism that appear to be at the heart of some of what is going on today.  Then I wonder, knowing that these things (xenophobia, etc.) arise from fear, how my fears and those fears are similar.  I’ve been diving into that — into my fears — trying to work my mind and heart around the commonalities of our experiences and fears.  Maybe there are answers in there somewhere.  I don’t know.  Maybe there are just more questions that lead to more and more questions.

An outer band sent ahead to scout things out.

Change, I believe, is a huge part of it.  Most of us fear change of some kind.  I have to remind myself once in a while that a good storm is often needed to clear the air, to water the plants, to blow away what is no longer needed or healthy.  Perhaps hurricanes are Mother Nature’s way of clearing the air, of discharging old energy, of restoring balance.  Perhaps other kinds of storms, including those of a political nature, lead to something better, too.  That is something else I don’t know (part of a long and growing list of things I don’t know).

Meandering along.

On a more practical note, because I want to change the subject, I’ve been out walking today, getting in my 10,000 steps.  I’m a long way from the one million steps I’m aiming for, but it’s early in the game.  Only day 4 of 100.  I am on track, even a little ahead, of where I should be now.  32,024 steps so far as of bedtime last night and I’m almost at 10,000 for today.

Cloud city.

Some of the outer bands of rain from Florence will be arriving here soon.  They are down in Virginia right now where they do have tropical storm warnings.  We’re about 75-80 miles away from where the warnings start.  That’s not a great distance, but it’s enough and enough is all I wish for right now.  I was just looking at the possible track of the storm over the next few days and it’s interesting to note that Florence, or her remnants, will be circling back around and approaching us from the north rather than the south.  She might also be dumping some rain in the Bogs (NE Ohio), where I used to live.

At low tide this morning when I was out on my walk. Part of the coastal flooding that brings the fish into the woods. You can’t get through here at high tide.

Thanks for joining me today on another ramble.  I might go out to the Point for sunset this evening.  I don’t expect to see much happening in the sky other than clouds and maybe some rain.  It’s a good place to get a glimpse of the bigger picture.  The view is not obstructed by trees.  You’re welcome to join me.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:16 PM.  I’ll be there early as usual, rain gear and wellies on.

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


A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  826)  Luck of the draw.  827)  Enough wind to keep the insects away during my walk this morning.  828)  The crazy bluebirds who are once again raising a ruckus about the car mirrors.  They stopped for a while and now they are being territorial again, attacking the bird they see in the mirrors.  829)  Enough.  Because, as they say, enough is as good as a feast.  830)  The weather folks who don’t always get it right but do the best they can with the tools available.

Changing light and colors.


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.

25 thoughts on “Before the storm

  1. Hate is often caused by irrational fear. Fear of the different, fear of change. Of course sometimes there is a reason for hate, like that I hate the person who killed that beautiful ray you recently posted 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True, Trent. I don’t hate the person who killed the ray, but I am angry and sad at the mentality of the people here (and elsewhere) who feel like it is their right to do things like that. It’s the same kind of thinking that people have when they litter carelessly or dump their trash on their property rather than dispose of it as they should. I’ve even heard a few folks say that God gave man the earth to do with as he wishes, and that it doesn’t matter if the earth is trashed because they’ll be living in heaven eventually. Peh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, “hate” was a strong word in that context. OK, perhaps those stupid people will be “living” in heaven, who am i to say, butdon’t they think their kids, grand kids, great-grand-kids, etc. deserve a nice Earth to live on? Not to mention all of the other people and critters. I guess they are just so selfish that they don’t care if others have as nice of a world as they have.


  2. Like Trent says, I think most hate is based in fear.

    I hope the storm leaves you alone, and that all you get is a little (or even a manageable lot) rain.

    If your point is not obstructed by rain it might be a good spot for night photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂 The Point would be perfect for night photography except it closes 30 minutes after sunset. We have a good spot here at the ranch, and I have given it a try. I made the mistake of trying it during some hot and humid nights which results in less than stellar (pardon the pun) results. My lens steamed up and I didn’t notice it. I’ve been wanting to try again during the colder months, but seem to forget about it then.


  3. I like your thoughts on acknowledging fear and how it shapes people’s outlook, most being unconscious of it. It’s good to look at these things and see where we fit and what could change.
    The storm has captured everyone’s attention and I’m glad that there was ample time to prepare (thanks to weather satellites). I hope most got away from the shore. Personally, I think building within a mile of the ocean, or below a certain elevation, should be outlawed. The insurance on these million dollar+ homes is federally insured, which mean taxpayers pay to rebuild private homes that shouldn’t be there in the first place. That is my grumble of the day!
    Your photos of the band clouds are stunning!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂

      I agree with you about building too close to flood zones or shorelines. We were concerned about that when we bought this house and did a lot of research to make sure we were not in a flood zone (there is no record of flooding in our immediate area and it’s been settled here by the Europeans since the 1650’s). Then FEMA came along with redrawn maps a couple of years later and put us in a flood zone based on storm surge (not on rising sea levels which might have made more sense). The way the storm surge would have to happen is seemingly impossible because hurricanes (and nor’easters) don’t move the way they’d have to in order for that kind of storm surge to happen here. Plus there are obstacles (land and marsh) in the way. FEMA, however, will not be argued with unless you have $50,000 to hire someone to do an elevation and flood survey, and our county is too poor for that (it’s the poorest county in the state of Maryland). So, we have flood insurance now. The private insurance companies, by the way, back the redrawn maps. Go figure.

      It’s also important to note that flood insurance is expensive. It can be more than what people usually pay for homeowners insurance, and I know it’s driven some people out of our county because they can’t afford it. FEMA (or the federal government) doesn’t administer the flood insurance policies in most cases, either. It’s done by private insurance companies. All the money (taxes and premiums) goes into the same pot and those private insurance companies rip off the government and the victims of flooding by using that money to hire attorneys to fight the claims! Essentially, those who pay for flood insurance end up paying for the lawyers who fight them on it when they make a claim.


  4. A lot of hate is undoubtedly due to fear, but I think there’s more to it than that. I think ignorance plays a part – I think environment plays a part (the attitudes around you). Lack of education – both formal education and being more informed about things unfamiliar to you – other ethnicities, different lifestyles and standards of living.
    Hoping Florence is good to you and hoping she recognizes she’s an unwanted visitor and doesn’t hang around too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. 🙂 We’re fine here. After the initial panic over the weekend (when our weather folks thought we might get a direct hit from Florence), things settled down and now it looks like we’ll get a strong breeze, a little rain, and maybe some coastal flooding (which was already happening due to last weekend’s storm and the new moon/gravity).

      I think you’re right about all of those things playing a part when it comes to hatred. I saw a lot of what you mention (environment, lack of education, etc.) when I lived in Ohio Appalachia. It’s a whole different world there. A hard world, but I sometimes think people make it hard on themselves. One man I knew (from volunteer work I did) saw no reason for his child to be educated. Said his grandpa made a living without it and he made a living without it, so why couldn’t his son? He was also suspicious of the education system, the government, and all outsiders.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such stunning photos, Robin!
    I am more fearful of storms now, too. It’s not really the storm–that is, I don’t mind the rain. It’s the wind I’m afraid of because we’ve had trees come down.
    I hope you’re not much affected by Florence or her remnants.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin, another thoughtful post with beautiful pictures. As for fear…I believe it IS a part of living our lives. It’s multiple opportunities for us to see and feel the wounds of the past is what living is… I am facing fear now with Hurricane Florence that I thought I was finished with. I suppose not. For me, the fears I have (and still have) seem to be visually represent by Saturn and it’s rings. With the reconciliation of each fear, I move past one more ring on my way to my most essential and authentic self – my heart. This is sometimes a moment to moment experience. Being gentle with ourselves as we navigate these experiences and feelings is probably our best approach. When I judge myself, I seem to join the downward spiral that is in my head. Hate…well that is a projection of my unhealed, unacknowledged, untended wounds. Sending blessings. 🙏🏻💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carrie. 🙂 ❤ I hadn’t thought about fear in quite that way, and it makes it seem more interesting when you put it that way. And yes! about the judging of ourselves. It only makes matters worse, I’ve found. Sending blessings your way, too, with hopes that the damage from the storm is little to none, or at least not too extreme.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. 🙂 I think we might be okay in terms of power outages. It looks like Florence and most of her outer bands have stayed south. The wind here is best described as a strong breeze right now. Not sure if it will pick up later or not.

      Love you! And if your power does go out, come on down (assuming we still have power).


  7. I recently read of some scientific studies that have concluded Trump’s core supporters are largely motivated by racism and misogyny. Supposedly, these are the most telling studies to date. Notably lacking was the notion that they are primarily motivated by economics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not surprised, Paul. I’ve long thought that was at the root of things. The people I know who voted for him were largely motivated by those things. It saddens me that we haven’t evolved beyond all that by now. Perhaps we never will. I hope that’s not the case, and there are things I’ve seen from young people that give me hope.


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!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.