Black Skimmers! Today I choose these magnificent seabirds to be grateful for. Their long wings, buoyant flight, how they skim over the water, their long lower beak slicing the surface. Here is a haiku I wrote about a “peak experience” during the beautiful offering (Exploring Haiku as a Gratefulness Practice) on this site last April.
Two Black Skimmers
just above the waves.
I was 19 years old and sailing a little rented Laser...
I was 19 years old and sailing a little rented Laser out of the marina at Norfolk Naval Air Station at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and I’ll never forget skimming along, speeding downwind with these two birds. We were so close, we could almost have touched finger-tip to wing-tip. But we didn’t need to touch. We were flowing as one being. Free.
Why am I remembering this today? Because today I learned that the Virginia Department of Transportation has recently PAVED OVER the largest seabird nesting site in the state — a small island where 20,000 Black Skimmers, Royal Terns, and other seabirds breed. Right. There. Where I had my peak experience 33 years ago.
These are migratory birds that spend the winter further south, so when they return to the island as they do every April (they nest in colonies on the ground in shallow sand scrapes), they will find nowhere to settle. No sand to make a nest scrape in. Only asphalt and construction machinery for the traffic tunnel expansion. And no suitable replacement habitat anywhere nearby due to the inexorable march of coastal development and the apathy of state officials who were fully aware of the effect of the project but declined to commit to a solution proposed by wildlife researchers. Where will they go, these 20,000 birds? This breaks my heart.
Palm, dear Palm. I am really missing you. I hope you are well. Sending love and light from grateful sea.
Dear Ana, I am thinking of you and your family especially your mother now. It is one month since your beloved Dad passed. You wrote that bedtime is the hardest and so I send light from my heart to yours, as the almost full moon does (can you see it?). Blessings of peace.
A big smile that crinkles up the eyes and clapping hands. A beautiful celebration of life, dear Ana. Blessings of peace, comfort to you and your family
I keep you in my heart, dear Alicia. You inspire me, “yes, looking to a hopeful future.”
Thank you, Patjos. Peace be with you.
Oh, the light, the lightness. Yes, freedom. Thank you, Cathy.
Keep going, friend. It is a beautiful start. Welcome.
Oh Palm, the warmth of your reply and all that you share! I don’t know where to begin. I am so happy to hear from you — wanting you to know that. Yet, in all the fullness of my heart right now, somehow I can’t seem to reply except with yes/Greta, yes/your precious daughter, yes/kindness, waking up, enjoying the ride, yes, yes, yes. I’ll try again later. Safe travels, my friend, and so much love.
Hello Ann, thank you and blessings to you. I always smile to see your bright hummingbird energy here.
Sweet Anna, thank you, I greet you with a whole-hearted hug.
Dear Diane, I am bowled over by the kindness of your thoughts towards me. I do get so frustrated when I can’t lay out my many jumbled interconnected thoughts! We did have a lovely walk down a hollow with a spring-fed creek. Om shanti shanti.
Dear Ose, thank you for your prayer for us all. Yes, may you and may we all become free of limiting beliefs and old habits. Oh, I am having such a problem with this in my life just now! It is remarkable how what you express is so close to what is on my heart and I am so glad as I so often have trouble figuring how to say/write my thoughts and feelings. I have also been wanting to respond to Br. David’s letter, which I found both encouraging and challenging. And to say something in ...
Dear Ose, thank you for your prayer for us all. Yes, may you and may we all become free of limiting beliefs and old habits. Oh, I am having such a problem with this in my life just now! It is remarkable how what you express is so close to what is on my heart and I am so glad as I so often have trouble figuring how to say/write my thoughts and feelings. I have also been wanting to respond to Br. David’s letter, which I found both encouraging and challenging. And to say something in light of our prayer day. But I am slow, very slow,(as the Word for the Day advises) and I see now that before the sun sinks any lower, I must take my dog (and myself) out for a blustery, bundled-up walk. So i leave this incomplete for a while and only say I send love to you to all from grateful sea.
Thank you, Cathy. Your nature photos and reflections are so appreciated.
Beautiful, Ana. The lily, she whispers peace. Wishing you and your family, especially your mother, comfort and the felt companionship of Nature as you grieve your loss.
Dear Carla, I’m happy for your improvement and cheering you on.
Dear Pilgrim, this morning just wanting you to know you are in my heart as I remember you also are recovering from surgery on your hand. Today I will go to the community greenhouse to harvest calendula that has just begun to bloom. I wish we could all get together and share a pot of healing tea. Sending love from grateful sea.
Good morning, Alicia. So glad to hear you are feeling better in body and spirit. Sending love from grateful sea.
Dear Drew, I join Alicia in wishing you well, most well, friend. Thinking also of your caregivers at home and in the hospital. Thank you for letting us be part of your circle. Sending love from grateful sea.
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