Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Alpha and Omega

My photo collection harbors a file called "unique" into which I put photos that reach out and grab my fancy. Yesterday, I was driving to my fitness center and noticed a cute sight, but I didn't have my camera. Today, I took my camera. I made some lady behind me pretty annoyed, because I stopped to take several pictures from my car in the right turn lane. I thought it was worth the effort. I don't want to know what she called me. I was just happy to find it was still available so I could photograph it.


It cracks me up to see the stork on the lawn of a funeral home and I assumed it had visited someone who worked at the funeral home.  It certainly speaks to the profound truth of our existence and it made me smile whereas I usually look away from dreary things like funeral homes the same way I try to avoid looking at road kill.

The clever juxtaposition of the obvious bookend effect  reminded me of the Greek alphabet and the mention of  Alpha and Omega when used as a phrase meaning the beginning and the end, because I have another interesting, related photo in that folder which I call "unique".

We encountered this sight in a restaurant and it too, spoke to me of the universal truth that we tend to come full circle and return from whence we came. As I watch someone I know being cared for in her nineties by the daughter that she raised, it of course takes me to thoughts of my own mortality. On the Greek alphabet, I suppose I fall somewhere in the downhill side around Rho or Sigma. I hope I'm not further down that alphabet than I think.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where's My Beach?


Every year before spring hits, I start thinking about beaches. I love beaches and I would love to live on a beach. I don't know if it is because they remind me of vacations and I like vacations, or if I just gravitate toward the water and surf. Maybe something primitive in my ancient brain wants to crawl back into the ocean.

"All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea -- whether it is to sail or to watch it -- we are going back from whence we came."
    John F. Kennedy, Speech given at Newport at the dinner before the America's Cup Races, September 1962


Magen's Bay, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Unfortunately, I would have to face all of the disadvantages of owning beach property if I wanted to live on a beach--storms, property damage from weather, or vandals if I didn't live there year-round. I know people who live near the ocean and ignore it--huh? I love the salt, the sand, the seashells and the hot sun. My collection of big brim hats and sun screen keep my skin happy. It is worth a few discomforts to relax in a beach chair under an umbrella and drag my feet through the warm sand.


Atlantic City, New Jersey
As much as I dislike having to get on a plane and check baggage to fly to a beach, I've done that countless times. We have sat on beaches in a lot of countries, but I like to drive to a beach. I just don't like the traffic because a lot of other people like to drive to beaches too. It is fun to pack up the sand chairs, umbrellas, hats, coolers and drag all of it from the car to the beach. I have to give some quality time to considering where I want to sit on a beach first this season.


Labadee, Haiti

My special beach would have dramatic, crashing surf; clean, coarse, white sand; and miles to walk along the beach in the surf. My favorite beach would have some people, but crowded beaches don't appeal to me. I'm okay with a little leisurely tropical music coming from a straw hut beach bar, but I'm okay without it. I'd rather listen to the seagulls. I like beaches where I can read, or meditate, or watch the surf and feel peaceful.  

Cape May, New Jersey
“You can tell all you need to about a society from how it treats animals and beaches.”

-- Frank Deford