timelessness and quiet ecstasy

7.14.20 ~ ring-billed gull cooling his feet at Eastern Point Beach

The humidity lowered just a tad on Tuesday morning so we snuck down to the beach for an early morning walk. The only gull out and about was on the rocks, a ring-billed one with his bright yellow legs. He wanted to be friends and walk along with us.

When we went down on the sand he decided to come, too, and lead the way.

follow me, please
pardon me while I cool off my feet again

Then Tim spotted a butterfly flitting about on the wrack line!

monarch butterfly

When it moved to the sand I tried to get a shot of it with its wings open.

shadow on the sand

Yet there are other windows through which we humans can look out into the world around us, windows through which the mystics and the holy men of the East, and the founders of the great world religions, have gazed as they searched for the meaning and purpose of our life on earth, not only in the wondrous beauty of the world, but also in its darkness and ugliness. And those Masters contemplated the truths that they saw, not with their minds only but with their hearts and souls too. From those revelations came the spiritual essence of the great scripitures, the holy books, and the most beautiful mystic poems and writings. That afternoon, it had been as though an unseen hand had drawn back a curtain and, for the briefest moment, I had seen through such a window. In a flash of “outsight” I had known timelessness and quiet ecstasy, sensed a truth of which mainstream science is merely a small fraction. And I knew that the revelation would be with me for the rest of my life, imperfectly remembered yet always within. A source of strength on which I could draw when life seemed harsh or cruel or desperate.
~ Jane Goodall
(Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey)

nature’s delightful composition
gull tracks
song sparrow having its breakfast

I’d sit on logs like pulpits
listen to the sermon
of sparrows
and find god in Simplicity,
there amongst the dandelion
and thorn

~ Jewel
(A Night Without Armor)

wild carrot (Queen Anne’s lace)

We now have 144 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our town. Our county (New London) has 1,345 confirmed cases. Of those 4 are still in the hospital and 102 have lost their lives. I fret over the figures coming out of North Carolina and Georgia, where my children live. Stay safe and take care…

22 thoughts on “timelessness and quiet ecstasy”

  1. I love that the gull liked walking with you and then led the way! And the photo of it paddling. All that sea and it has to cool its feet in a little rock pool. πŸ™‚

    Very worrying about the increase in cases in your area, let’s hope it levels off quickly. x

    1. Of course I actually have no idea why the gull liked standing in the water. Maybe his feet hurt from too much walking. He was drinking the water when we first got there. He was quite a character. πŸ™‚

      Have cases leveled off in Wales, Val? Are you still under stay-at-home restrictions?

      1. Really difficult to know for sure as there seems to be no standard measurement, and most of the cases in the UK that are counted, are only cases in hospitals. Also they keep coming out with crazy stuff like “this is the first 24 hours in which there have been no new cases” and then base relaxations of the rules on that, when really there need to be no more new cases for far longer. Where I live, it’s very rural and the infection rate has been much lower than the cities. We can go out a bit more than before, in Wales. We had a five mile travel limit – and that has been lifted, but we still can’t go indoors to visit people, or use their toilets!! It hasn’t been thought out properly.

        1. It’s so hard making sense of the numbers! I have one website I visit for local numbers so at least there is some consistency in the way they are reported. Our governor decided not to let bars open today, after seeing what is happening in other states. Not sure what is going to happen about reopening schools. Parents have some terribly difficult choices to make. We’re not supposed to visit people indoors, too. And people coming here from other states are supposed to quarantine for two weeks but it doesn’t seem like something that can be effectively enforced. Our semi-retired neighbor just got a job taking the temperatures of the people entering a store. He has to wear full “personal protective equipment.” What a bizarre world we live in now.

          1. It is very odd these days. I can’t see that quarantining for just 2 weeks would do much as it can take longer for the symptoms to show. We’ve similar rules here, too. I keep losing track of what’s happening in the UK (and of course, England – which is in the news most – is different from the other parts of it as Wales and Scotland and N.Ireland have devolved governments) but pubs (bars) have reopened – and a few have already had to close when the virus made an appearance.

          2. Looks like travelers entering the state through the airport will be greeted by paperwork to fill out stating how and where you intend to quarantine for two weeks. They plan to check up on you and there is a $1,000 fine for not complying. Watching the news every evening is pretty interesting. Not sure how they plan to catch up with people driving into the state. I’m waiting to see how they settle the question about school for the kids in the fall…

  2. The photos and words are very peaceful…the numbers count not so much. We are so isolated here it’s hard to imagine how you must feel with that many cases in your town. Hoping your loved ones stay safe too.

    1. Walking and meditating on the beach is so peaceful but it is always jarring to return to the chaos surrounding us. It stirs up a very primal sense of fear. I hope you and your loved ones keep safe, too, Kathy.

  3. I love Jane Goodall’s words when she speaks of the Masters contemplating “the truths that they saw, not with their minds only but with their hearts and souls too”. Beauty is far more than a visual experience, but I always feel that you feel that way too, Barbara. πŸ™‚
    Stay safe. xx

    1. There are so many scientists who appreciate the spiritual essence of the universe they see and study, the beauty and the ugliness. And those who can write about it are dear to my heart. β™‘ Capturing glimpses of beauty in the natural world with my camera is very healing for me. May we all keep doing our best to stay safe! πŸ™‚

  4. In love with your beach finds! I wish there are sea birds hanging about on our beach, too. And I hope you stay safe and healthy amid the rising cases at your place. Are there new restrictions or?

    1. Our bird population seems to be declining, too. You don’t even have gulls? I thought one could find them by the sea anywhere in the world.

      Thank you for your well wishes! I suspect we will be living with various restrictions for the foreseeable future….

  5. Gull tracks! I like all your photos, but that one is a delight. I agree about how healing nature can be, when you take the time to slow down and really see it.

    1. Aren’t the gull tracks adorable? Seeing them always cheers me up. πŸ™‚ I never know what I will see when I take a walk, but it is very often an unanticipated surprise.

  6. I like this post Barbara – it must have been just before we followed one another. How I wish it was bright and cheery, sunny and Summertime NOW and I have not had the large snowfall that you are enduring now. It is just cold, dreary and gusty and we had just 1 1/2 inches of very wet snow. I like your gull friend who wishes to explore and I like his footprints on the beach. I have taken photos of Canada Goose webbed footprints on the path when they walk through the wet grass, but this was fun to see. I have no beaches near me so I enjoyed seeing their footprints in the sand.

    1. Thank you, Linda. We must be patient, summer will return, all in good time. It’s kind of fun having the snow because we haven’t had this much snow in at least five years and we don’t have any place that we have to go. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed Canada goose footprints before, I will have to keep an eye out for some. Mostly I see them swimming. Once I saw some on the beach early in the morning and I moved a little closer to get a picture, but a woman who was also walking went a little closer, too, and they went back into the water. Sigh… I didn’t think to look at the sand where they had just been to see some footprints.

      1. We were spoiled here Barbara. Yes, we had that snowstorm, but it was gone from the cement a few days later. So very little impact. We had a fairly nice November and first half of December. There is one small cove and sandy area at Lake Erie Metropark and I found it by accident when trying to get closer to see the water lotuses. Whatever shore bird was there, likely a heron as I’d see one fishing for breakfast, had walked all over the sand. That was my only beach experience for footprints. That sand was dry, unlike your sand in the photo.

        I am like you – I hate when I see I can take a shot of something like a heron and someone walks by and spooks it. Or a group of critters scatter as they see the dreaded dog. You can enjoy the snow if you have your provisions and nowhere to go – it is pretty to look out and see it if you don’t deal with it. I looked out this afternoon and the snow had melted on the cement and the streets were clear so I should be able to walk down to the Park tomorrow. I would not have held much hope out for it since it was icy when I was shoveling the new snow. It will NOT be cleared down there as it did not snow enough, so likely it will be a quick trip to dispense peanuts and leave again.

        1. I do hope you get to walk to the park today! We’re planning to go down to the beach today as we guess they must have cleared the parking lot by now.

          One day we were driving by a pond and saw a couple photographing a deer who was standing knee-deep in the water. Knowing how much I love deer, Tim stopped the car thinking I would want to get a picture, too. But I said no, keep going, if I get out of the car the deer will run off and I don’t want to spoil the moment for the couple. I wish others would do the same for me sometimes!

          1. I did get to the Park today Barbara. It was a wind chill in the 20s but I bundled up, but not so great for walking there. Just as I suspected, the perimeter path was icy in most portions of it since they had not plowed and then we had some freezing drizzle the first night it snowed. If we don’t get warm enough temperatures, it will stay like that the rest of the Winter unless there’s a big snow and they plow and maybe the ice is removed by the blade. Sigh. I went to two locations at the Park and cut across the “donut area” to do that so walked on the snow-covered grass. I also walked in the street going to/from the Park as lots of sidewalks had not been cleared. I am no fan of Winter just for this reason.

            I hope you got to go to the beach and had access. I know they have to put the snow somewhere, but hopefully the parking lot was big enough for mounds of snow and room for cars too.

            That was nice of you to stay in the car to avoid spooking the deer. If only most others were that thoughtful, but as you know, they are not.

          2. Sadly, our walk down at the beach was icy, too. I hope we both get some warm weather to melt the ice and that the next storm will be just snow, no freezing drizzle on top!

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