Travel Theme: Illuminate

I went to the beach this morning, for the first time since flying back to Florida. Prior to ┬átoday the sun’s rays were blocked by clouds; there wasn’t good morning sun to illuminate the sky and water, the sand and shells, palms and grasses, birds and people. Of course my eyes see because of illumination, but my hearing also directs my sight. As I was walking down the path towards the beach I heard the crash of breaking waves. How surprised I was to see the gentle curves of blue water edged with white foam, sparkling in the sun’s illumination.

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There were waves, not big ones, but they broke close to the water’s edge. Sometimes the shape of the shore caused the water to churn, with many surfaces and curves to catch the sun’s illumination. I sat and watched and waited as wave after wave broke, each catching the sun in a different way. I also scanned the horizon, some sky with clouds other areas clear. The water was different colors as I looked from south to north, different areas picking up the reflections and illumination from different parts of the sky.

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How wonderful to have the time and eyes and heart to see how the sun illuminates all that is around us. There is an ever-changing illumination that leads to ever-changing beauty. As I repeatedly look at the familiar, I see unfamiliar beauty. I see it over and over for the very first time.

You can see other interpretations of the travel theme, illuminated by visiting Ailsa:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Beach Picnic

Joy seems so subjective. I respond with a sense of joy when I am in an environment, having an experience that nurtures those characteristics that make me who I am, and magnifies all that is good within me. When I experience joy it is because I feel more whole, more wholesome, more at one with all that is beautiful.

I felt joy when I stood on this beach below Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Pacific coast of Oregon. I was a distance away from the trio, but they appear to be a grandmother, son, and grandson having a picnic on a driftwood log. The son is lost in thought as he gazes at the ocean. The grandmother and grandson are gazing at each other, engaged in an interesting conversation.

I feel joy as the experience triggers memories of my grandmother introducing me to a world that is so big and so new and so mysterious. Memories of beaches big and small, the smell of sand and water. Memories of getting lost in quiet moods that allowed my mind to imagine doing great and wonderful things. My joy comes from deep within, where love and memories reside, and wells up brand new as I experience this beach for the first time.

Possibly there are other WordPress bloggers who have captured what you experience joy to be. You can check it out at:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sand

I just happen to have a few photos of sand having just returned from touring the Pacific coast of Washington and Oregon. Here are two from a very windy day, showing how the wind can sculpt and move sand.

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To add your sandy photos or to see more sand, you’ll need to visit Cee at:

Coquille River Lighthouse

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The Coquille River lighthouse was built in 1896 to guide ships into the shallow and treacherous waters at the head of the river. It is one of 8 remaining lighthouses along the Oregon coast but is nonworking, replaced by an automatic beacon on the south jetty in 1939.

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The sunny day we visited the wind was fierce and there was mist coming up from the water over the river and south shore. The amount of driftwood on the beach indicated to me that this is a stormy area and my suspicions were confirmed by information in the lighthouse.

The wind had created patterns in the sand that J. described as moonscapes. I had a hard time standing steady as I photographed the area. All I could think of was how hard life on the ocean can be because I was becoming exhausted on a beautiful, sunny day.

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The gulls were having a hard time flying against the wind – and this Western Gull is working hard at getting a handout from the couple who are eating an apple in their car. He allowed me to get so close I wanted to reach out and touch him.