Saturday, October 1, 2011

The sky was showing

What a showy, showy night! A bit of thunder to startle the senses. Stark white and soot black clouds blowing through in late afternoon, leaving behind the kind of sky and air that makes you crackle with anticipation and wonder.

The sky was showing it's glory and using its voice to get everyone's attention.

I believe these folks were celebrating Rosh Hashanah, tossing bread into the sea and drawing some enthusiastic sea gulls.

I'm not Jewish but my understanding is this New Year ritual is a spiritual wake-up call, a time to cast-off the bad and savor the sweet. The evening before I heard a sonorous note being blown and saw a man with a long, curved ram's horn raised to the sky. He was surrounded by at least a hundred people who had probably made the trek to the shore from a temple.

Earlier on my walk I came upon these silver strands of sea water, slowing ebbing and flowing.

When the tide is this low, it almost feels you can walk upon the water, venturing to places normally submerged, secret and silent to us.


Like these starfish I found on a bared jetty.


A photographer is the last to fold up his tripod and call it a day as the sun's rosy glow faded to gray, leaving us all with a sense of wonder and renewal.

*Do you ever feel renewed, cleansed by passing storms--be they external or internal? Life can be so hard, but those chances to start afresh come around again and again.

P.S. This being Banned Books Week, I just read one of the best anecdotes on the value of all books on Jemi Fraser's blog. Check it out!


Unknown said...

A rainstorm in Arizona is like winning the lottery. We crave it and appreciate every drop.

Golden Eagle said...

Beautiful post!

Donna said...

Gorgeous photos and words. Riverside was ablaze with color last night as well with cotton candy clouds and a silver sliver of moon.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Laraine: Ha! I get that. This one barely spit but it sure put on all the trappings.

Eagle: Thanks, my dear!

Donna: Oooo, I've seen those cotton candy clouds over Mt. Rubidoux, and they're fantastic.

Wen Baragrey said...

Wow, those photos are spectacular! I bet they were even more amazing in person, too. Your words are just about as gorgeous. You describe nature better than anyone I know. I love the "silver threads" and "soot black" sky.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wen: It was an amazing day, and, wow, thank you for such praise.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thank you! What a nice surprise to get to at the end of your post! :)

The other day I read a post about how readers need to live life to ensure they are able to grow into great writers. Every time I see your photos and hear your insights I think that you really do live life. And see it to. Awesome stuff :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Well I am jewish and it sounds like you got the gist to me! How cool to blow the shofar and do Tashlich (where you throw the crumbs that symbolizes tossing away your sins of the past year) in the ocean. :D

Bish Denham said...

Lovely post. I remember quite clearly a time when I was under quite a bit of emotional stress but I couldn't cry, I couldn't get it out. I went into the country up onto a hillside, where I could be alone to try to work it out. After a while I saw that storm clouds were accumulating. I put all my stress and anger and everything else into those clouds. When it finally started raining, I began to cry. I found release and was renewed.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Jemi: You're more than welcome (I loved the way that book changed that girl's life). And, wow, thank you for saying that.

Lisa: Yay, I got the gist right, and it was a fantastic place for such a ritual! :)

Bish: That's an incredible story. I love what healing power is in nature when we let it be.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Wasn't that storm AWESOME?! For you readers who are not in So Cal, we do NOT get thunderstorms.

Friday evening was amazing. Red and orange skies filled with puffy clouds and huge thunderclaps hovered over the ocean. I've never seen anything like it.

Great pictures!

Donna said...

Reading Suzanne's comment, I agree, we Southern Californians do get excited over a storm that others may take for granted. I gained some perspective in the other direction when I visited St. Charles, Il., once in late March or early April. I was amazed when every passer-by seemed ecstatic over what I--spoiled SoCal person that I am--had thought was an ordinary sunny day. (It was their first after a very hard winter.)

storyqueen said...

Nature can be so darn wondrous!

(I think I prefer the external storm to the internal.)

When there is electricity in the air, there is also magic.


Ishta Mercurio said...

Thank you for the wonderful photos and words - they're especially appropriate for me today, having been through an emotional storm today myself. :-)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Suzanne: Yes, yes, yes! It infused a lot of us with energy, I think. Thank you. :)

Donna: It's all in perspective, isn't it? A sunny 60 degree day can feel balmy to someone whose spent months shivering in snow and ice. Thanks for sharing that insight.

Shelley: Oh, yes, the magic. :D
And, also, oh yes, better it's external!

Ishta: I'm sorry you had the internal storming. I hope it's getting better and glad I could share some of nature's healing beauty.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Visiting your blog is always such peaceful refreshment (in words and pictures)! Thank you. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Susan: :D

Jon Paul said...

Love the photos--and the prose! And yeah, "chances to start afresh" are a real blessing. Liking waking from a bad dream and realizing you still have the chance to put things right.

And there's nothing like a good thunderstorm to get the senses dancing! ;)

Thanks for the great post. And Happy Tuesday to you! :D

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

JonPaul: Hi, glad to see you! I bet you know a thing or two about dancing in a thunderstorm. ;) Happy Tuesday and all week to you, too.

cleemckenzie said...

There is something about ritual that all of us find comforting. Maybe it's the connection to the past that grounds us and gives a sense of belonging.

These are beautiful images of the sea and the sky. I immediately took off to go for a walk along the beach.

Sherrie Petersen said...

You always have the best ocean photos! I always feel renewed by storms. Rain is cleansing. I love it.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lee: Very true about ritual--it is comforting. And, wow, I'm glad I inspired a beach trek. I think I'm due for another!

Sherrie: Thank you, my dear! I love the smell of rain sooooo much.

Sarah Laurence said...

Beautiful words and stunning images! That last one especially. As a Jew living in Maine, I haven't heard of the bread in sea ritual, as opposed to just throwing bread in water. I wonder if it's particular to California.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sarah: I love that last one, too. It's especially fine when you think you've run out of light and then see another shot worth taking.

I don't know if it's particular to California, but one lady I spoke to made it sound like they did it every year and this year was great because the weather was so spectacular.