Posted in Air, Assateague Island, Beach, Change, Climate Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Water, Weather, Wonder

Smoke on the water

Sign of the times.

History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in his making beautiful and lasting works out of the real substance of that nightmare. Or, to put it another way, it consists in transforming the nightmare into vision; in freeing ourselves from the shapeless horror of reality – if only for an instant – by means of creation.

~ Octavio Paz

I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep…. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

The clouds, according to our weather folk, were not clouds but smoke from the wildfires out west.

It is raining here, on and off.  The remnants of Sally are passing through.  The wind is just beginning to pick up.  One of the local weather guys said that the winds will be with us for most of the weekend, until they’re gone.  I kind of like that.  He didn’t try to predict when the winds would lessen.  They are here until they’re gone.  I’m not sure if the wind is related to Sally or the cold front that will be passing through and bringing us temperatures that are more autumn-like.

The rising sun on a smoky morning.

The tropics, as they’re sometimes called, have calmed somewhat.  I think there are only six storms out there.  One hurricane, Teddy, was currently the only named storm when I started this post, but I see they just named another storm.  Wilfred.  They’ll be going to the Greek alphabet for the rest of the season (they don’t use the letters X, Y, or Z).  As of this writing, they’ve already gone with Subtropical Storm Alpha (off the coast of Portugal).  I reckon Beta will be next.

Overlooking the dunes. (Assateague Island National Seashore)

I went to Assateague on Wednesday.  My last visit to the island was in February.  Things shut down shortly after that, including the national and state parks.  It felt good to stand by the ocean again, to breathe in the salt air, to walk in the sand, to put my feet in the salty water.  My feet and ankles were particularly happy because they’re all bit up by the chiggers that have been on the attack for the past couple of weeks.  Chiggers are a little like no-see-ums in that you can’t see them.  The bites don’t show up for a few days to up to a week so you don’t know until you start itching and the bumps appear that you have about 50 bites on your feet and ankles.  According to various chigger experts on the internet, it takes about two weeks to get over the itching and for the bites to heal.  The saltwater was soothing.

Walking on the shore.

I didn’t swim.  I would like to have gone for a swim but we had beach hazard warnings.  Riptides and shorebreak.  Shorebreak, in case you’re not familiar with it, is when the waves break at the shore.  It’s rough, where there is a sudden change from deep to shallow, and the warnings include the information that even the best of swimmers can end up with a broken neck or back if they get slammed by waves.  There were some people swimming.  Not too many.  Just a few here and there.  I wouldn’t have gone in even if I hadn’t seen the warnings.  The waves looked like the kind that will knock your feet out from under you or slam into you and knock you over.


I was surprised by how many people were on the beach.  There was quite a bit of traffic going there, and quite a bit leaving as I was going in.  Usually this time of year, in the off-season, there are very few people out there.  Mostly surfers and other people my age or older.  On Wednesday evening, just before sunset, the beach got even more crowded than it was during the afternoon.  Not with surfers and older people, but with college-age kids.  Ok, young adults.  They do seem like kids to me.  Anyhow.  There were a few beach fires here and there, with small gatherings around them.  I wonder if this is the new hangout?

Before the break.

Quite a few of the wild ponies were out and about, too.  The photos I got of them were pretty bad because I rushed and the light was poor.  One of these days I’ll go back and try to do better.

A photo shoot.

Being by the ocean felt like a recharging of my system.  There is something about standing on the shore, watching the waves, and feeling such a sense of awe, almost reverence, for the beauty and power of the sea, that exhilarates but somehow calms and soothes at the same time.

Fishing. (They did catch a few fish during the time I was out there.)

Before I go, I want to tell you about a podcast I’ve been listening to.  I am normally not a fan of podcasts.  I have trouble paying attention to them.  I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s interest in the subject because this particular podcast has caught my interest and I just finished listening to episode 6 (Grappling with the Cult of Trump).  It’s called Conspirituality and it’s a fascinating look at the way the alt-right and New Age spirituality are, in a sense, converging when it comes to conspiracy theories and disinformation.  If you have time, I recommend picking out an episode and having a listen.  I think we all need to start developing more than a little common sense to go with some self-awareness and education in terms of what we believe and don’t believe.  It is likely (probable) that the disinformation campaigns are only going to get worse over the next month or so.

Walking and talking.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me today.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  Sunset is scheduled for 7:05 PM.  I’m not sure we’ll see anything other than clouds, but it will be nice to take a little walk on the beach and enjoy the scenery.  It’s been empty out there lately so physically distancing is easy to do.

Please be safe, be well, and be kind.

A small group with a small fire.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,536)  Time at the beach, unwinding and recharging.  1,537)  Being around other people, even though we stayed distanced and don’t know each other.  1,538)  Watching one of the fawns chase a rabbit this morning.  I’m pretty sure the fawn was playing.  The rabbit might not have realized that, but it was clear the fawn was having fun.  1,539)  Unlearning, relearning, learning.  1,540)  Vegan tacos (roasted, spicy cauliflower with a lime-cilantro slaw and avocado) for lunch.  


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the 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.

16 thoughts on “Smoke on the water

  1. We’ve been homebound for over a week now as the widespread smoke from California/Oregon and Washington settles over our region, this morning our air quality was the worst in the world…your beautiful photos and words took me away for a moment or two and the words “let go” will become my new mantra.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. I hope the air has cleared by now. We had another batch of smoke move through this week, but it’s so high up that we’re not too much affected by it (just some haziness and a milky sun).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your beach day seemed almost ‘normal’ – I think we all long for the sense of peace that comes without having to think about all the world’s troubles. Glad you got a chance to get away. We haven’t seen the beach in two years, I really miss it. Maybe we’ll get a chance next year, god-willing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so, too, Eliza. Now that you mention it, our beach day did almost seem normal. There were enough oddities, though, that the edges of the pandemic could still be felt. I dislike the way I want to withdraw from people, not allow them too close. It makes the divide seem that much wider.


  3. I love that Sarton quote. Do your work, finish, let go. I voted today. Whew. Now I don’t have to worry about getting that done! I see that you ARE back. I missed that you had come back from the bogs. I hope things are well and you settle in at the Wabi Sabi ranch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 I like the way you summed that up. Yes, I am back. It’s been an interesting transition. Early voting starts October 26 in Maryland. I’m going to vote in person, hoping it won’t be too risky. I got my flu shot so that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about getting done.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for that podcast recommendation. I listened to part of one last week and would like to listen to more (having relatives who have fallen hard into the conspiracy rabbit hole). Sigh…walks on the beach make more sense than human life these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Kathy. I had to take a break from listening to the podcast. I was taking in too much, I think. It’s informative, but there’s an element of anxiety that I feel when listening and realizing how many people, even some I thought were quite sensible, are falling into that rabbit hole. People from both sides, it seems


  5. Beautiful photos and post, Robin. There’s something exhilarating about wild, ferocious waves–though only to watch from the shore!
    I can’t just sit and listen to podcasts either. I have to walk around my kitchen or cook when I listen to them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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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