These basalt boulders are at the Ensinoso Park in Oak Creek near Sedona. In low-water times of the year, there is a crossing here where the white water is. You can just hop from stone to stone to traverse the creek.
In the winter, their crevices become miniature caverns of ice. In the summer, their meeting-edge with the creek is moss-covered. Their shadows provide shelter for the new river troutlings each spring.
Over the years I have sat on their surfaces, dangling bare toes in the cold waters. They have become lifelong, enduring friends, these rocks.
Once in a life, a person ought to concentrate their mind upon the remembered earth, give themselves up to a particular landscape, look at it from as many angles as possible. They ought to imagine touching it at every season and listen to the sounds that are made upon it. Imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. Recollect the glare of noon
and all the colors of the dawn and dusk. ~N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa/Cherokee, winner of the Pulitzer Prize~
I discovered this scene in Zion National Park at the golden hour of sunset. What is special to me are the leaves scattered in the path. It appears that the route, although well-traveled in the past, hasn’t seen much action recently.
That, for me, makes it irresistible. What fun, to discover something of value that others may have ignored!
The earth seemed to move with me.
I found a new source of power and beauty,
a source I never knew existed. ~Sir Roger Bannister, first person to run a four-minute mile~
For example, here is a selection from the beginning of LOW TIDE: “The seagulls bounced around him, lighting just long enough to snatch up the pieces of bread, then hovering in the air, wings whipping, to wait for more…To his mind, it was one of the few places left that actually felt like Florida, with its century-old brick and clapboard shops and houses, the marina filled with shrimp and oyster boats and people who couldn’t care less about Disney World.”
Ms. McKenna takes an interesting approach to her series, in that the first four books take the time you rarely have with a mystery series to introduce you to a unique set of characters who live on the Florida coast, a romance that delights with its unfolding, and enough suspense to survive a hurricane!
You can buy each of the first four books of the series, LOW TIDE, RIPTIDE, WHAT WASHES UP, and LANDFALL separately. But if you’re like me, you’ll be hooked after the first one. Save yourself some money and buy the set.
Writing teacher Donald Maass in THE EMOTIONAL CRAFT OF FICTION says the way to pull readers into your writing is to engage them emotionally. Ms. McKenna does just that.
I love that exact moment when a wild creature acknowledges my existence. They look at me, and for a moment time is suspended and one species recognizes the other.
Trees, of course, are also aware of our being. Mere plants as well.
Okay, then, what about the rocks. Do the rocks know I exist? Can they speed up their slow lifespan to mine for just an instant to say, oh, there’s another one of those human things? Or are they just too busy in their rock world to care?
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim,
no meaning, and yet I’m happy.
I can’t figure it out.
What am I doing right? ~Charles Schultz, cartoonist~
Upside down, right side up, left to right, right to left. If you’ve ever noticed, we don’t often find (almost) perfect symmetry in nature. That’s why, when I found this vista, I was delighted.
Symmetry creates a comforting predictability. Two by two, like the story of Madeleine living in the convent. Or Noah’s animals in the ark. As children begin to explore a continually new, exciting world, they need to return occasionally to what they know.
Every up has a down. Every night has a day. Shared pairs of togetherness.
One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong, ~Sesame Street Song~
Abiquiu, New Mexico is north of Albuquerque, north of Santa Fe, even north of Taos. Georgia O’Keeffe discovered it and spent years there creating her own artistic way of seeing flowers, and nature, and blue sky.
When I visited her Ghost Ranch, the isolation and peace of the country allowed me to slow down and see what was actually in front of me, as well.
Gray, beige, ochre.
Rock, pottery, plant.
It doesn’t take much to keep me happy.
The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpots~
The quality of light in Arizona is intense, and never more so than at sunset during monsoon season. For two summer months, the afternoon clouds build, fierce thunderstorms crash and threaten. Then it is over. Or is it?
As a photographer, I’ve learned to be patient. If I wait out the storm, and stick around for the aftermath, a brilliantly hued sunset often occurs. It is time well-spent.
The end of summer is always hard on me. Trying to cram in all the goofing off I’ve been meaning to do. ~Calvin and Hobbes~