#37 Astronomical High Tide

Astronomical High Tide.

The first questions to ask:  How big is the passing storm system?  What is its timing in relationship to the full moon?

Follow with: Checking the National Weather Service / NOAA forecasting website which provides detailed information on predicted wind direction and speed (in knots), and sea heights.

Followed by: Tide/Tidal search for the closest coastal near your location. (a few miles of coast line can make a difference) giving high/low tide times.

To complete the picture: The National Data Center Buoy App, real time measurements from instruments on that buoy you can see from shore giving exact wind speed and direction, wave height, wave  frequency and more.

Living on the edge of open ocean the dangers are obvious.  But the loveliness of marsh, the serene grasses and placid waters, can become swollen masses altering contours of wildlife refuges, tidal rivers, house distances from rising waters along marsh roadways. Serious business all.

Mostly, day-to-day life goes on. But ears or eyes stay alert for two phrases in proximity: “Astronomical High Tide” and the dreaded “Nor’easter”.

Together they scream “Watch Out!”. That’s when specific information becomes critical.

Note. For more information on astronomical high tides: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/restles4.html

# 36 / # 37 Star Shine / Lemonade Out of Lemons.

Star Shine.

Four a.m. Both the sky and the water are black. Venus and Jupiter are hanging low in the east just above the water. Their light is a shimmering path: star shine. Being awake to see this is a privilege, a joy, a revelation.

I once read that for human life to function at its optimum the ideal would be two periods of sleep separated, three or four hours long in each segment. The idea behind the theory is that eight hours of sleep at one time divides the waking/conscious mind and the sleeping body/unconscious mind for too long, a disconnect where flow is interrupted. My thought on this theory is that such a wake/sleep pattern would require true darkness, darkness without streetlights or floodlights illuminating the driveway but being up and active at night would require artificial light or not much would get accomplished. In any case the ideal behind the theory and the demands of modern life seem mismatched, even if the principle has merit. It might however, be a soothing thought for those with insomnia, those who feel out of step with those who profess to sleep deeply, while it offers hints of other possibile alternatives and a way to change perspective.

And star shine might not be missed.



Lemonade Out of Lemons.

Awake once again at 4 a.m., apparently a magic hour. Hanging in the sky just a bit above the water’s horizon is a threesomed beauty: Venus to the left and down a bit from a glowing crescent moon and hanging a bit further to the right and upward,  a bit fainter Jupiter. The diagonally close line of brilliance pulls me out of bed, gaping at the sight. Other points of light dot this totally clear black sky, planets, stars, satellites, and whatevers shining into the winter’s night cold.

The blessedly calm ocean can be seen by the light of these shining bodies. A quick check tells me it’s three degrees with a ten mph wind out there but, while the heat is still blowing out of the ductwork, I can sit in the window and marvel that I am not sleeping through this gift of nature.



Occasional Posting: Varieties of Personal Experience.

Just Life: Varieties of Personal Experience.

So many of us go through life with parts of ourselves we fear are lacking or in need of change. Anxiety, OCD, phobias, aversions, some of which are more obvious or more severe than others, many of which we try to keep hidden from even our closest companions. The range, the spectrum, of such difficulties are vast. What is new to me is the awareness of how very human these “faults” are, how they have been formed from the experience we have from being or growing in this life (or last). I believe we fail to honor ourselves and our own pasts when we fail, in one way or another, to acknowledge them. I believe powerful healing comes from not only acknowledging these things but embracing them while we attempt to use understanding, knowledge, and awareness to overcome the limitations they place on our lives.

New to me is when evidence of such traits or habits or aversions become known, when my own reaction, which once would have been critical (caught as I was in faulting myself for my own versions), I now find endearing, as evidence of human struggle, of an awareness that these things add to the complexity in the person who has let them be shown. It is easier to find compassion when these things are given light, air, and descriptive words, when a person enters therapy showing evidence of willingness to dig into pain to grow beyond and, by that means, expanding his or her life. When such traits are allowed description, in personal writings or in conversation, I am honored to become a holder of such information, honored to share in the process of the unfolding, grateful for the courage of the individual to embark on the journey of discovery.

What has now become evident to me is that what is most negative or difficult is not the individual who suffers these human twists and turns, but the individual who thinks of himself or herself as a superior being because they don’t possess such traits or weaknesses. Beware! This is the faulted being.  Condescension alone is a powerful clue that something is amiss.  When an individual goes out of his or her way to point out faults in others it is a reason to turn away or to make clear by your words or your silence (whatever is appropriate) to give indication or evidence that such behavior is not to be tolerated. This work may be quiet or actively participatory, whatever works best to contrast rather than support such destructive, ignorant behavior.

What binds us to one another is recognition and, perhaps if we are able, support and caring. Each of us is a version of a flawed being or a whole being.  Our weaknesses are evidence of making a life with these traits, using them as a guide to find and repair what feels like imperfection. Thus we grow. Therein lies the true beauty of our humanness.


Note: In honor of Carolyn whose birthday was today. Blessings and thanks to  her wherever she has gone or whomever or whatever she has become.

# 35 Orange Is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black.

The moon is one orange segment, tipped, hanging so low in the sky it looks like an exclusive lantern hanging above the lone fishing boat whose presence is known only by its lights of the exact same hue out on black water at 3 a.m.

Orange, the fruit readily available in winter so useful for providing the vitamin much needed by the body in the non-growing months in cold climates.

Orange, the political symbol of troubled times and sharp divisions.

Orange, the color streaking horizontally across the sky at dawn.

Winter has gotten to me. A day and evening of a thirty degree downpour has been followed by day after day of bitter cold. Demon winds sent flying anything not firmly tied down, driving the cold past shingles and through bones. Snow, which has fallen so deeply inland, is mostly present as discarded lumps of ice and concrete-hard mounds formed from plowing.

Longing for warmth and release from layers of fleece, wool, down, my skin itches then aches, craving sunlight and air and moisture. Spirits sink along with the downward diving digits on the thermometer.

What comes from long winter days and longer nights, when brief orange flashes stand in for day long yellow blooms and growing green and the blue skies of spring?

#34 First Light

First light.

Six a.m. First light this morning is a steak of graywhite along the horizon line separating sky from water, merely a slight promise another day will come forth. The ocean’s background sound is a low rumble, the sound of a jet engine distantly high above flying in cloud cover, registered as “up-there-somewhere”.

Every day’s beginning, planned or widely wildly open, dreaded or ripely anticipated, special or ordinary, lonely or too crammed, once all these string of days were taken for granted (and maybe some still are) but the accumulated lot now carry the heft of underlying awareness. These days, each day actually is precious, holding the possibility of ordinary, or not, and either is welcomed.

Didn’t we, as children, understand this? The bookends of old and young, the balance we did not see although in all those busybusybusy in-between years we surely noticed the magnetic attraction of the bond between grandparents and their separated-by-one-generation children, each feeling altered time of the day’s beginning.

The white-gray-black palette has been joined by pink and orange that steadfastly turns the gray to blue. The shadows in the cold room begin to lessen. I struggle to keep my mind blank and free for as long as I can because “empty” stretches time and awareness.

It is where peace lives.

# 33 Pitch Black

Pitch Black.

Still a couple of hours before sunrise. The room—cold and very very dark—the near perfect black breached by only the light of a few offshore buoys, dots of a greenish-blue tinge barely enough to interrupt.

I wonder how few of us who love such darkness remain. Even when we work hard at keeping it we now have to contend with the energy vampire lights on so many devices–the smoke detectors, the fridge, even the toothbrush all have annoying darkness intruders, little dots of red or green or blue glowing in the night.

Blackness feels like a health elixir, enveloping my being like a soothing cloak, the perfect balance to sitting in the streaming window sunshine of the morning. The equation of dark with danger, the idea of flooding night spaces with artificial light for safety, baffles me. I came to this over years of camping. Flashlights, considered essential night tools, taught me that our eyes adjust accordingly and using one created a false dependency. Turning it off quickly allows seeing in different ways. Experiment: walk outside on a starry night with a bright flashlight then turn it off and watch how soon you become aware of the brightness of the stars, even being able to see your shadow from starlight.

I’ve read a few articles on light pollution and the possible links to disease. There are dire warnings. How lovely it might be to shut down the lights of buildings when not in use, saving energy and possibly contributing to health at the same time. Could street lights be dimmed or extinguished in the wee morning hours?

How would our lives change if more of us could experience true dark?