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Living in the Moment: We Are Never Alone #MondayBlogs #alligators

Hello, dear friends. I’m still adjusting, indulging in what might be a few weeks or a few years of wishful thinking (not to be confused with magical thinking). Reality always wins out though and, for me, there’s only one way to deal with that. Well, actually a couple of ways. One way would be to pop in my earbuds, fire up my Audible app and listen to the latest fiction download while I knit. Unfortunately, the novel I am currently listening to is Because We Are by Ted Oswald. It’s a fictional crime story that takes place in … Haiti, inclusive of the 2010 earthquake. I say “unfortunately” because the story is often so sad. What utter poverty the characters live in! What mean lives the children lead, often fending for themselves as if they were adults, at risk for being killed just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time! And yet, there’s a crime, a murder that takes place and that the main character, Libรจte, a feisty little girl, is determined to solve. I still can’t get over how the author has ingeniously hooked and drawn me in, giving me no escape from the daily devastation of Haiti’s poverty by holding out that carrot of a crime to be solved, justice to be done. So I am hooked on this fantastic novel, but it often makes me sad and so … not such a good way to cope with Reality.

My other recourse? Well, thank goodness the temperatures have dropped to more fall-like, mosquito-slowing degrees. Recently, my husband and I took an outing to our favorite natural environment, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, to enjoy a sunset and a little star shine. Granted, this too is Reality but one that can get lost in the highly charged, people-laden, TMI universe unless you make the point to go there.

While my husbandย focused on filming light to dark for another in his series of time-lapse videos, I took my trusty iPhone and surveyed the area.

Venus's Belt

The Belt of Venus

This is one of the many scenes we were looking forward to: The Belt of Venus, or Twilight Wedgie as I like to call it. In the middle of the photo you can make out a white blob, or possibly a White Heron or Egret. Here is video of the large bird fishing for his (or her) evening meal. The video lasts about a minute.

It was a lovely evening. The few mosquitoes that bothered to appear were slowed by the cool temperatures and weren’t much of a threat. I didn’t even have to swat at them. I just blew at them when they got too close. There were gnats or no-see-ums but my head and neck were covered (it was dropping down to the low fifties) so they weren’t much of a bother for me. I was able to lose myself in recording the sights around me, dropping down on my belly to follow a line of coots off in the distant. Then up on the wooden planking that outlined the round bit of solid ground in the marsh, trying to get another perspective. And then my husband called to me, to look to my left.

We are never alone when we’re at St. Marks … and I’m not talking about the birds …

Strange as it may sound, this relatively young alligator made my night! He (or she) was as curious about me as I was about him (or her). He (for simplicity’s sake) lingered long enough that my husband worried that he might be a trash gator. I will never understand why anyone would feed a gator. Seriously, they don’t look like they need help getting food. But when I fake-tossed to him, he sidled off, moving a few feet further away so he could continue to look at me without threatening his own sense of safety. That was a relief. I like alligators as long as we’re not up close and personal with each other.

So, I’m curious. What do you all do when you’ve had enough of Reality and need a break? Oh, and before you ask, although I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016, I haven’t worked on my novel since before the election. But enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

Categories: Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

21 replies

  1. I am so with you, Marie. Getting out there among the trees is the only way to fly for us. Just yesterday we found a new trail that took us unexpectedly to fantastic vista points where we could look out over the river and beyond, all the way to the snowy mountaintops in the distance. And only ten minutes from home.

    Reality? That’s reality!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I do envy you! Our drive to St. Marks is about 40-45 minutes. Of course, when we lived in San Francisco, our drive to Big Basin State Park was about 2 hours (3 hours now) so it’s all relative. We do have a very nice (although small) backyard that’s proven to be a good habitat for birds and snakes so, in a pinch, it’ll do ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Thanks, John! I’m hoping with the new year I might be checking in more. I have new responsibilities at my job that are also taking up some of my energy. I do miss writing for my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome gator video, though you’re already much braver than I am at that distance. Mine would have been “found footage.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    For relaxation, definitely crawling into a good story. Just finished an excellent duology by Dan Simmons involving a terraformed Mars, Shakespeare, and Greek Gods. Plenty of fodder to escape reality there! Hope you have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Phillip! I often wonder why I lean toward crime fiction when I’m looking for an escape. I think it’s the puzzle aspect in part and lately I’ve been listening to international novels, like this one about Haiti and before that, Ireland. I find that the narrators, with their Haitian or Irish accent, transport me almost as much as the stories do ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I hadn’t thought of that aspect of listening to international novels. Sounds like a great escape. I also appreciate the idea of losing yourself in a puzzle that has nothing to do with office politics. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I am so totally going to have to read “Because We Are” now. It sounds beautiful yet sad and difficult to be in that place, much like “Little Bee,” which even after two years still sinks inside my mind. As far as the way the world is going, I’ve been reading a lot of YA novels to take my mind off of it. So far it’s working, if only briefly. P.S. Lovely sunset, and I’m terribly jealous because I really, really want to see an alligator. It’s on my bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you ever make it to Florida, Cinthia, we have plenty of alligators to show you ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you would love Because We are. If you check out the links, you’ll see that proceeds from the book go to various Haiti relief organizations. Very cool that.


  4. Talking a walk always does the trick, but I’d like to start riding my bike more. With it being cold out now, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, but still. Even exploring new trails in my area is a great way to jostle my brain to leave reality behind for a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love to walk. I haven’t ridden my bike in a long time and probably won’t now that the days are so much shorter. I make a point of at least going for a short walk (ideally, longer) during the work day, both for the reality check and circulation ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mosquitoes! They are much worse because they are tiny and buzz around my head and fly in my face and leave itchy welts whenever they bite me. Gators will leave me alone if I leave them alone so we get along great ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Being out in nature is so healing. I have to be near trees. My fantasy character would definitely be a dryad.
    Love that alligator peeking out video and photo. Now that we’re in snow country here, it’s nice to see places without it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

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