Dream Interrupted

We went across to St Pete yesterday in time for the twilight and the skies obliged with some excellent colors and a mostly compliant cloud.

It was difficult to know when we first arrived if the cloud was going to steal the show but thankfully the sun was rising just slightly off center so that enough of its colors made it through to where we were standing.

It was wonderful to see other early birds getting out of bed on a Saturday morning and breathing in the beauty that mother nature was serving up. St Pete seems to have a pretty decent population of people that are driven by fitness or scenery or social activities, to pull back the covers and take that first step into a new day.

There were those that were walking, others jogging, some cycling, and even a spirited sunrise volleyball group that took control of the nets before the sun had the horizon. Fair play to them!

Anyway, I have a few shots at the end of the blog that I hope captured some of what we witnessed and in truth, we felt really fortunate to do so.

I hope you enjoy!

The strange thing was (and this is what drove the thought for today’s blog), I was reluctant to embrace the start of this day because my wakening interrupted a very good dream. I was in the middle of a good visit with my Dad when for some reason or other my mind decided that I had had enough and snapped me back into a reality of life without him. There wasn’t an alarm, nor a noise and Inna didn’t shake me awake. I just took a step away from a place where I was seriously happy and decided to wake up.

To say I was pissed off would be an overstatement but I was definitely disappointed in myself. Today, a day later, I still haven’t figured it out what it was that woke me.

I miss my Dad and anyone who knows me understands that he left a huge whole in my life when he went. So, what was it that tripped the switch and brought me back to this world that I live in?

And therein lies the thought that has been running around inside my mind for the past 24 hours. Retreating into our dreams can bring a wonderful counter-balance to a life we are unhappy with.

I know that some people dread their dreams, scared of nightmares and such. But for most of us, dreams are an extension of our state of mind and allow us to experience something that we can’t in the real world.

I say the “real world” but who is to say that this is the real world and the other just dreams? In fact, being godless, I often have thought that death must in many ways be that final dream that we never wake from. If we are lucky it is a good one and as we fade to black, we do so with a happy smile in our heart.

But whatever our dream experience, we should try to embrace them and understand what meaning they have for us. Sometimes, the meaning is trivial and other times profound. Sometimes we can’t even remember them when we wake up.

For my part I always take that first few waking moments and try to repeat the main aspect of the dream in my head. By so doing, I am trying to commit it in some part into my memory rather than just have it evaporate in the early morning mist.

Some of our best moments in life appear in dreams. If you are unfortunate, some of your worst moments may also.

But engaging with your dreams, understanding their origins, and occasionally finding the messages therein, can be a wonderful exercise for the mind and enriching to the existence we call life before that final one comes along.

… just a thought!

Still Waters

It was a mid-day visit yesterday at Circle B and while we knew that the temperature wouldn’t be ideal, I needed to escape work and do something enjoyable.

Yes, a couple of the trails were still closed because of aggressive alligator mating season, but the upside was that on a Friday around lunch time there would be almost no one else there.

As it turned out we saw less than five other people along the way and the temperature wasn’t too bad either.

We took the trail down to Lake Hancock and spotted a number of the usual suspects; Osprey, Herons, Egrets, Alligators, and even a Red Shouldered Hawk.

The surprising aspect was that when we reached the lake and particularly when we went out the small pier, we noticed how still the waters were. There seemed to be no movement at all and in some instances, a small layer of scum seemed to hug the waters as they approached the shoreline.

On the way back to the car we encountered lots of Butterflies, most of which were impossible for me to shoot as they kept moving. And on a picnic table spotted a fabulous Grasshopper who seemed very aware of me and so I took my shots quickly so as not to disturb him. The surface that he was on, made for a great setting.

I have loaded a number of the shots at the end of this blog and I hope you enjoy.

“Still waters run deep” was the initial thought that I left Circle B with, although clearly some of those fish would argue that it didn’t run deep enough.

But the thought stuck with me this past 24 hours and led to my thoughts for today’s blog.

You see, sometimes we look at people that keep to themselves and say nothing as “deeper” than the rest of us. “It’s the quiet ones that you have to watch” was something I heard a lot in Ireland growing up.

But the truth is that there is nothing admirable in being a still water. Sometimes it is simply because these people don’t have any thoughts worth sharing anyway. Similarly for the quiet ones that we are watching.

“Say nothing ’till you hear more” was often an advice given to people around me in an attempt to stifle their opinions until they were better informed.

But the truth is that quick opinions, gut reactions, and immediate responses, form the cornerstone of forward movement in our lives. People that deploy such concepts are generally the ones that make things happen, bring about change, and influence others.

Those who hold onto their opinion until all others have spoken are rarely heard and very often dismissed. This is because those engaging with or listening to the first voices, have already been influenced and are beginning to make their minds up. Some (the sheep) will have even already made their mind up on the very first input from those being vocal.

“Choosing your moment to speak” is advised as if it is a wisdom but it is wiser to make yourself heard and possibly be wrong that not being heard at all, even when you are right.

So, I guess what I am trying to say here is that if you have an opinion or a position on anything, it is important for you to get that opinion or position out there. Yes, there is always the possibility that you will be wrong. Maybe you will even be laughed at. But even this is part of life’s learning process.

Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts as soon as you have them. Imagine the regret of the first mate on the Titanic who thought it might not be entirely prudent to race headlong into the dark waters, knowing that there were icebergs nearby, but said nothing.

Our biggest regrets in life are rarely about the things we have done but rather those we have not.

… just a thought!

Tiny Joys

I was in the middle of weeding yesterday. The yard has been quite wild forever and while I am really happy to have ferns growing all over the place, these last few months have seen them overtaken with an assortment of nasty vines and tall grasses.

So for the last few days I have spent a couple hours each day doing manual labor (which I hate) and begrudging most of it along the way.

My Dad used to love gardening and the property at Rosmadda was impeccable. It was a testament to his love for taking care of it.

Similarly, mine is also a testament. A testament to someone who avoids going into his yard at all costs.

In any event, as I am pulling and sweating and generally hating life, I spotted a tiny little frog clinging to one of the vines and obviously wishing I was back inside, ignoring the yard again.

She wasn’t any bigger than my finger-nail and I took a few pictures and have them at the end of this blog for you to check him out. I hope you find her as cute as I do.

Hope you enjoy.

The fact that I paused in the middle of something that I found miserable, and managed to find something so peaceful and sweet, made me realize that in so much of this life, peace and joy is where you find it.

It is easy to get lost in the weeds of life, pulling and pushing and consumed in each misery that grabs us.

But sometimes, we have to stop with the misery and look around us. We need to find that little something that we can recognize as being a good part of our moment and focus on it until it restores a little balance in our lives.

Even in the hardest of times, there is always something. We just need to stop struggling long enough to find it.

And it doesn’t need to be something huge and important. It doesn’t need to fully counterbalance the shit we are going through.

Its role is not to overcome the hardship that we find ourselves in. Maybe it won’t even turn our day around.

But at the end of the day when we rest our head on the pillow, we can cast our mind back to that one little joy that made life worth living today.

I called her “Joy” and she was my little moment . Such a sweetheart.

… just a thought!