Advent Day 14: Gather

Today’s topic is “Gather.” I’ve always liked this image because the entangled driftwood, worn smooth by the tides, forms a basket to hold beach pebbles tossed in by the waves.

The photo was taken on the beach of the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge in Sequim, Washington (pronounced “Skwim”), between Christmas and New Year 2004.

Advent Day 14: Gather

Image by Sophie Lagacé 2004, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Advent Day 10: Holy

Today’s topic is “Holy.” It’s an interesting concept for someone who does not embrace a religion. Actually, even when I was nominally Catholic, my sense of the holy, the sacred, always had to do with very real things: the night sky, trees, rivers, the call of an owl or a loon at dusk. Here, several of the things that inspire a sense of the holy in me: the sea, the setting sun, a location I love (Samoa Beach in Humboldt County), and the love I share with my husband.

Edit: And look at Edmund’s entry for the same topic today!  No, we did not know each other’s choices in advance.

Advent Day 10: Holy

Image by Sophie Lagacé 2010, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Advent Day 5: Flood

Today’s topic is “Flood.” There’s a concept that depends a lot on where you are located; if you live in a floodplain zone, like way too many humans do, then you’re really just waiting for the next flood. If you’re living in a coastal zone, welcome to global climate change! You’ll see flooding up close and personal some day. But if you’re a fish, it’s a different issue…

Ah well, if not for a flood season, the cat we would eventually adopt and call Ubaid would not have lost his home, so I guess we got an indirect benefit.

Advent Day 5: Flood

Image by Sophie Lagacé 2011, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

After death

Between discussions on religions, the anniversary of my father’s death, and a book I just read, I got to thinking about that old question, what happens to us after we die. I certainly don’t picture the kind of heaven where people in white robes sit on clouds and pluck harps, and I don’t believe in hell at all.

But everything leaves something behind. Our molecules break apart as we are digested by worms, but what we really want to know, of course, is what happens to our consciousness, our spirit, our soul.

This afternoon we took a walk on the beach and for a while sat on a wonderful old redwood stump. My eyes and fingertips could read so much history in its grain: a tree growing gnarled and imposing in life, chopped down and the stump uprooted, probably tumbling into a stream to reach the sea, buffed and smoothed by the waves, then at long last come to rest on the beach in a semblance of life.

A lot of this happened after the tree was cut down, the events still leaving marks in the wood. The tree is dead, and yet it continues to age, to hold the tree-like shape, to be part of the world. Maybe our lives are a bit like that: after we are gone there is a memory, in the shape of our spirit, still interacting with the warp and weft of life. It’s in the way we live our lives, the legacy we leave, the grain and polish of our deeds and the way they marked others.

No reason

No good reason, anyway. I’m just blue tonight. I’m reading a sad book; I’m disappointed in a personal project that had me all excited; and money flows out too fast.

So here’s a recent image I was happy with, to leave something with nicer at the end of the day.