Saturday, February 9, 2019

January 28 - February 8,

Monday, January 28, 2019
    Today we took.a long, lovely walk, about 4 miles, west and then 
back to the east on the beach on Sanibel. It was late morning, chilly 
but warming up, and we set a fairly fast pace, at least for me. Cia 
stopped sometimes to study and collect shells, and she managed to 
bring back a beautiful small collection.
    We had lunch at a tiny, noisy cafe, and once again, I was 
supremely impressed with the food on Sanibel. I had some southern-
style poached eggs over a bed of delicious seafood selections. Really good.
    Later, MaryAnne came over for a visit, and we all walked back to 
where she and Al and their friend Cheryl are staying. We visited for a 
few minutes in their beachfront cottage, and then walked back along 
the beach right into a soft and spectacular sunset.

Cia on our morning walk

Two dear friends looking at a beach-stone sculpture …


Tuesday, January 29

This morning we saw the sun slowly rise over the ocean on 
our morning walk. We started around 6:50, with layers of 
clothing to accomodate the cold (45 degree) weather. 
The sky was simply spectacular the entire time - first just a 
faint rim of light along the eastern edge, then slowly shifting 
and brightening as we walked. We kept guessing where the 
sun would actually pop up, and Delycia was the lucky one 
who saw it. “There!”, she said, and there it was, just a softly 
shining round rim of light, but very soon an ever brightening 
ball. I think we were both utterly astonished to be there in the presence of such a majestic occurrence — a solemn 
ceremony, really.

Brother Al and I had a long, leisurely breakfast this morning 
at Sanibel Fresh, a cute and very quiet cafe near our condo. The food was good, but the conversation was extra special. Within a few minutes, we were talking about St. Augustine 
and the importance of attention and the fact that it doesn’t 
matter if we die when we’re 20 or 90. I loved both the 
seriousness and the lightheartedness of our talk. It was a 
blessing for me.

The heated pool early this morning

Another sunset walk this evening under velvety blue skies, with thin streams of white clouds in the west, giving the sunset a special nuance. We strolled slowly, just letting the evening light cast its spell.


January 30, 2019
    We walked down to the beach around 8:00 this morning, with our beach chairs, layered wraps, and binoculars, hoping for a good hour of quiet gazing and relaxation. However, very shortly, the wind seemed suddenly stronger and chillier, and sitting on the beach started seeming to be a not-so-good idea, and before long, we folded up our chairs and made our way back to our warm apartment.

    I had another deep, wide-ranging talk with Al today, everything from our mom’s struggles with six kids under 13 to the nature and benefits of rituals. (We both agreed that each moment of life could be treated as a ritual.) MaryAnne stopped over for the last few minutes and joined-in heartily to the conversation.

    In the afternoon, Delycia and I took our first Sanibel bike ride, cruising on our well-used rental bikes down to the the Lighthouse Cafe for lunch and then back. It was great fun to be on bikes again, even old, somewhat rickety ones - a free and fun-loving outing, for sure..

    Sunset at the beach again, just sitting back and loving the light and the strolling beach-lovers and being with each other.


January 31, 2019
   We took another early walk this morning, and we found again that clouds can actually intensify the beauty of a sunrise. Because of the clouds, we couldn’t actually see the sun itself float into view, but - better yet - we saw streaks and streams of light slowly spread across the eastern sky.

    I had another wonderful talk with Al this morning over breakfast - just two brothers chatting over scrambled eggs and coffee. We covered Russian Orthodox Christianity, spiritual poetry, and even the wisdom of toddlers. It was a happy and healthy conversation for both of us.

    This afternoon Delycia and I took a bike ride (in 70 degree weather!) to the Sanibel Lighthouse and then back to lunch at Grandma Dot’s. It was a shaky, bouncy ride for me on the old, fat-tire bike, but great fun, too. I am so glad Delycia pushed to rent bikes for us. Many great rides are coming in our days on Sanibel Island.


February 1, 2019
    We walked down to the beach this morning to see the sunrise again, but the sky’s grayness was too dense to let the rising sun be seen, so we set out walking beside the almost silent water. It was a refreshing walk, as always on Sanibel, even without the sunrise.
After about 30 minutes, Delycia sat on the sand for some quiet meditation, and I walked for another 30 minutes on this slowly warming morning.

* a painting on the wall of our condo *

    We had a final lunch with Al and MaryAnne today, at the quiet, tasty OverEasy Cafe. The food was perfect, and the conversation, as usual among us four, was lively and loving.
* Delycia lovingly took these photos *
    Delycia and I sat on the beach at sunset time, under a mostly gray but still beautifully lit sky. There were just a few beach walkers, and only an occasional penguin sailing over the water. Delycia studied the light in the sky and showed me the various changes as the minutes passed.


February 2, 2019
     We had a very busy day today as we moved from our condominium to a different one for next week.
    We took a sunrise walk, as usual, but the clouds covered most of the light, so we just walked briskly along, until - yes, there it was!  - the slight circle of light as the sun started to shine above the horizon. We took a few pictures, and then I took a 60 second video as the sun floated up. Another amazing morning walk.
* Delycia taking a picture of a ‘sandman’ someone had made

   After we checked out of our condo, we took a long, easygoing
8-mile bike ride, here and there around the island. For both of us, I think, it was a wonderfully refreshing few hours. The weather was sunny with just the lightest breezes, and I felt that old, lucky freedom I’ve always felt when riding.
    We were finally able to move into our new condo around 3:00, and it is a true beauty — lovely porch with table and chairs and a 2-person glider, and very comfy chairs in the living room with soft ottomans for weary feet. We’ll be loving this place for the next 6 days!

    Sunset again - another spectacular one!
* a mom talking with her son
while watching the sunset

February 3, 2019
    We took our usual sunrise walk this morning, leaving around 6:55, and once again we were pleasantly astonished by the shining clouds and then the gleaming orange rim of the sun slowly ascending. Again, I thought of native peoples, both of the past and present, who were and are probably continuously amazed by the daily arrival of the sun. It truly is a miracle beyond description, and Delycia and I are seeing it - and almost worshipping it - every day here on Sanibel Island.

Wonderful words from Eckhart …

    We took another invigorating bike ride this morning, about 7 miles, and, again, what a pleasure! It was a totally relaxing but also exhilarating ride as we cruised along with light winds and sunshine. I spent some of the time letting spiritual thoughts carry me along - reflecting on the astounding fact that the present moment is all we ever have and therefore is always brand new, as were these magical moments we were experiencing on our bikes.
* a pause on the ride

… and another pause

*we love the more hidden bike paths

*a lover of bikes
and Sanibel bike trails

    After lunch, we walked to the beach to check out the strange mist we had been seeing from our condo — and this is what we saw:


Monday, February 4

    I tossed and turned in bed last night, trying, I suppose, to settle down after watching the boring-but-also-exciting super bowl. I finally floated off and had a restful though brief sleep.
    Another sunrise walk after breakfast - about 3 miles - and another special sunrise. (Of course, all sunrises and sunsets for 4.5 billion years have been extra-special!) Here’s what this morning’s looked like for one shining moment...

    We also came across two wonderful sculptures on the sand:

    And then we returned to the comfort of our cozy condo, where I again went into my ‘Sanibel serenity’.....
     After lunch (which was take-out from a spacious, friendly market called Jerry’s), we walked down to the pool for some dipping, swimming, and reading time. I swam for a few minutes and Delycia floated and paddled, and then we settled on lounge chairs in the shade for some quiet reading.

Another sunset this evening….

Tuesday, February 5

    As usual, I was up at 5:00 a.m. for my morning meditation. I opened the window blinds to the morning darkness, with only the lamps in the courtyard visible. I sat with my hot cinnamon tea and a light meditation snack and spent about 30 minutes in silent thought. Ah, such a fine opening to a day!
    After breakfast in the lanai, watching a cloudy and cool morning slowly arrive, we walked to the beach for our 60 minute sunrise stroll. The clouds were predominant, but the shore and the sea were as mysterious as ever.

We came across some new seashore art …

    We took a 90 minute bike ride after lunch, heading up Periwinkle Way toward Captiva Island. It was, as usual, a very pleasant ride, just cruising - almost floating - on our ancient, fat-tire rental bikes. However, as usual, we saw some hazardous riders now and then - folks going way too fast, or looking wobbly and unsure, or passing other riders - including us - in reckless ways. But all in all, when we reached our condo I think we both felt grateful that we could do a bike ride on a beautiful island in 70 degree weather in February.
* a very strange tree,
with roots going down from a branch

     We sat on the beach at sunset time and saw another marvelous show of light in the western sky as the sun slowly sank…

Wednesday, February 6
   Another beautiful sunrise this morning, with the clear ball of the sun easily visible as it slowly arose from the sea.

    As usual, we saw many interesting looking people as we walked, and we both decided it would be fun to really ‘notice’ these people, and perhaps take photos of them. Here are a few from this morning’s walk …
    We spent an hour or so at the pool this afternoon — a few minutes in the refreshing water, and then sometime in the shade stretched out on lounges, reading and talking.
    Toward evening, we had a wonderful, uplifting Skype conversation with Annie. I admire her so much!
     Later, we walked down to the beach for another spectacular sunset. There was a happy scene at the beach - some musicians picking at guitars and banjos and singing, and a family with a young toddler who was obviously overwhelmed by joy with so much water and sand to play with. We sat quietly in our happiness, watching the softly changing colors in the western sky

Thursday, February 7

    We did another sunrise walk this morning - now one of our important traditions on Sanibel - and we were lucky to be able to look at - just for a few seconds - the newly rising ball of the sun. As we’ve often seen, not a small number of people were standing in silence, facing the east, obviously as awestruck by the sunrise as we were.

   As usual, we saw some very intriguing people as we walked …

…. and one woman - named Cia, oddly enough - was very interested in the various plants and trees.
    Late this morning, we started out on what became a 12 mile bike ride, and, as usual, it was thoroughly enjoyable (though quite tiring for me). It’s pure joy to ride on these well-maintained bike paths, cruising past lovely southern beachfront homes, feeling the gentle ocean winds, and noticing the joyous spirit inside us.

Beautiful birds at the Bailey Preserve …

We stopped for lunch at the Lighthouse Cafe, now one of our favorites, where we both enjoyed grilled seafood on a croissant, with - for me - a side of scrumptious French fries. (Cia had double coleslaw instead.)

Friday, February 8

    We took our last sunrise beach walk this morning, about 3 miles, and saw in the east the great glow of the round sun as it slowly rose above the bluish horizon.
As always, it was a spirited walk, and, for me, an  arduous one, and I dragged a little as the minutes passed. However, I was always roused by the smooth flights of flocks of birds, off on their adventures somewhere.

Later in the morning we took a 9 mile bike ride - a lovely and lively final ride on this very special island. I will miss these daily rides almost most of all.

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