Noticing

This morning, I looked at the map of the island trying to find a new route to take on my walk.  “I’ve covered quite a bit of this area already,” I said to Lois.

“Well, go around the opposite way,” she told me.  She explained that when she went to trade shows she would go around the convention center one direction, then turn around and go back the way she came.  “It’s a whole different place when you go the other direction.”

This reminded me of one of my fellow RA’s in college.  He would do rounds of his building to check for underage drinking and other mayhem.  “Then, I turn around and go back the way I came.”  He explained that once the students saw him the first time, they thought they were safe for at least an hour.  When he turned around?  That’s when he caught most of them.

So I took that advice and went the other direction. And “caught” some good stuff…

From a distance, I thought this was the best piece of driftwood I’d ever seen.  Upon closer inspection, I realized those spikes are not wood at all, but it was still a fun thing to find.

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This looked like an odd sort of Christmas tree buried in the sand.  I was then struck by the orange color of its dried leaves.  Reminded me of Fall back home. Imagine that…the color of Fall leaves in New York right here on the beach of South Carolina in February!  (I’m still learning the intricacies of my camera – so the orange is not as dazzling here as it was in person.)

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I looked at smaller things, too.  Like the grey stripes on this tiny shell.

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Stacey found an intact horseshoe crab shell for her son the other day while on her run.  (Yes, it made for an awkward thing to carry on a run.)  So when I saw this one, I thought of my niece Ava.  Would she like a horseshoe crab shell?  Then I noticed it was kicked in, so I rejected it.

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Sitting next to the dented one was this smaller guy.  I thought only a few seconds about it and laughed.  I could hear my sister (Ava’s mom) saying, “Umm…Becky….do you see the POINTS on this thing?”  Ava’s only three.  Probably not a good choice.

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My eye caught lots of colors.  Even the sand – who knew it had so many shades?

Look at that purple!  Who knew it’s not just Crayola that makes that shade of purple?  The yellow and purple together remind me of art class in school – aren’t they complimentary on the color wheel?

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Upon closer inspection of another yellow piece, I noticed that it wasn’t yellow all the way through – the yellow was a coating over a brown branch.  Hmph.  Who knew?

My meditation teacher told me this would happen eventually- that the practice of meditation causes you to start to notice things throughout your day.

I don’t intentionally head out to see what’s around.  It just naturally happens now.  A fly touched down on the pages of my journal yesterday as I was writing.  Instead of swatting him away, I studied his orange eyes – observed how big they were relative to the rest of his body.  Then, I noticed his wings – thinner than paper and nearly translucent.  Was he looking at me, too?  Noticing?  After he flew away, I realized that was the longest time I’d ever seen a fly sit still.

“We are blessed,” said Lynne yesterday as we sat around the table on the screened in porch.  From our seats, the ocean monopolized our senses: the sight and sound of the water rolling over the shore, the smell of the air, and that oh-so-good feeling you get when you’re within a stone’s throw of the sea.

Indeed, Lynne was correct.  I was reminded of that on my walk this morning.  I don’t have to be at the ocean with good friends to realize this.  But it sure is nice.  So nice, in fact, that we’ve decided to stay an extra three days:)