Back in early July, John and I did one of our favorite short summer outings -- a day trip up to South Haven, Michigan. We spent time downtown, having a late breakfast, watching boats and geese in the marina channel, picking up a few books at the secondhand bookstore, and reading on the bluff overlooking the lighthouse.
Then we headed over to Van Buren state park and the public beach. It has some sandy sections, but I head for the stones. So many colors and shapes, and so bright after a wave has washed over them. I pick up stone after stone that catches my eye for one reason or another -- the perfectly egg-shaped rock, the glowing quartz, the fossil, the crystal shining in a small hole. Some I bring home, to use with my groups in prayers with nature objects. Part of me wants to pull out geology books and put names to all the different sorts; mostly I'm content to simply admire all the wondrous diversity of shape and color and texture.
On our visit to Deception Pass State Park in Washington, we hiked from Bowman Bay over to Rosario Beach, where we found more tide pools. The occupants had some similarities with those of the Oregon tide pools and some differences. The hermit crabs were particularly lively -- the second picture below is a video of what I saw, not speeded up! (If you receive this blog by email, you may need to go to the website itself in order to see it. John's mobile device just has a blank between the two still shots of tide pool inhabitants.)
There is also a large wooden sculpture, portraying the Samish Indian story of Kwkwallwt, a young Samish maiden who is courted by a mysterious man from the sea. At first her family does not want to let her go to him, and as a result the sea withholds its fruits. Finally they allow her to join him, asking that she come back once a year to visit. The carving shows one of her visits, as she gradually becomes more and more attuned to the sea, covered with barnacles and small fish. In the end, she stays in the sea all year round, and the Samish people receive an abundance of gifts from the sea.
The same location for tide pools as in my last post, but these come from a morning low tide, with a fog bank above us. I picked up the shell below to see if it was another snail, and found a hermit crab ready to protect his (or her) home. I love the tiny barnacle trim -- makes me think of the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.
One of the joys of being on the Oregon coast was the chance to explore tide pools. These were near our reunion gathering site, just south of Lincoln City. These photos were from the sunny afternoon low tide.
More patterns from the beach. Yesterday's were created by wind and wave, today's with a little help of creatures large and small. While these photos look sunny and peaceful, the wind was so strong that the top stone on the second cairn kept blowing off -- therefore the play with horizontal patterns of stones on a beached, bleached log.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.