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In My Bubble I Find Bliss #pandemic #natureismychurch

Bliss, according to Merriam-Webster, means “complete happiness.” Complete might be an exaggeration, unless I can add the word “fleeting” to the definition: fleeting complete happiness. Our world’s current situation makes any experience of complete happiness elusive for me, as well as it does for many others. My personal situation is not dire, and every day I am grateful for that.

During my work day, I’ll stand up away from my desk every so often and gaze out my window. My small view is of our back deck and the trees and bird feeders beyond. When I practice yoga in this room, I often gaze upward to see a blue or gray sky framed by tall pines. That connection with the natural world, even when I’m on the wrong side of the window, gives me these fleeting feelings of bliss.

My bubble is pretty much my house, sometimes extended to my neighborhood if temps are comfortable enough for walking. When we do go out, we go and come back quickly. No lingering in the gift shop at the native plant nursery. No contemplating at the produce aisle at Trader Joe’s. It’s grab and go.

But on my birthday, we expanded our bubble a bit and went to Mashes Sands Beach. I’ve written about this beach before. This visit was a bit different from the one we had four years ago. For one thing, a couple of hurricanes have come through since then. We suspect Hurricane Michael was responsible for the damage done to the otherwise impressive boardwalk and pier.

We had planned to walk the boardwalk to the beach. When we saw it was closed, we followed a path along the boardwalk that took us through some mucky territory. I almost lost a sandal when my right foot sank in muck up to my ankle, and one leg was almost flayed by thorny vines. But, hey, it was my birthday and I was outdoors!

Before Hurricane Michael:

After Hurricane Michael:

In Nature, there is death and life.


This guy met an untimely end. My theory is he was washed up on the shore during one of our recent storms. My husband’s theory is that he was caught by a fisher who didn’t bother to toss him back in the water. I like my theory better.


Not the best of pictures, but it was fun to sit near the seagulls and other wading birds as they fed.

Did I tell you I’m taking up photography … sort of? I haven’t felt like writing creatively since I’ve been working at home. The place where I do most of my creative writing is now my day job work space. I’m also writing a lot at work, although it’s not creative. So that part of me has fizzled for the time being.

I was starting to feel depressed about that until my husband encouraged me to try using our 9-year-old Canon Rebel T3i. I do take a lot of photos with my iPhone and the quality of those photos can be impressive. It has its limits, though, and I don’t feel I have as much control over how I take photos with my iPhone as I do with the T3i. Although I am on a steep learning curve with the T3i, that’s part of the appeal.

Later this month, my WP plan will revert to Premium from Business. I just can’t won’t justify the cost of a Business plan when I have no business. So, some features might change. Perhaps, with my new interest in photography, I’ll switch to a template that is less wordy and more visual.

Meanwhile …

Some of my novel writing friends have been busy!

Carrie Rubin has TWO new novels, one available now and the other soon to come in August. The first is The Cruise Ship Lost of My Daughter, a cozy mystery written on a pseudonym, and the other is the second in her Benjamin Oris series titled The Bone Hunger.

Katie Sullivan has completed her final novel in her Changelings trilogy, The Myth of Memory. Although Katie’s novels are considered Young Adult, I thoroughly enjoy them as an Old Adult. Her novels blend Ireland’s political history with its myth and magic.

Finally, or at least as much as I’m aware given how little I’ve been on the blogosphere lately, Kevin Brennan has been releasing some of his novels in paperback form. The latest to be released is Eternity Began Tomorrow. If you’re in need of a novel that will give you some hope for the future, while taking you on a crazy ride through cults, climate change, and romance, look no further than EBT.

My father was born on July 5, the day of this post’s publication. If he had lived, he would be 101. Well, Happy Birthday to you, Lenny, wherever you are.

Thanks for visiting. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

Junior perching his big head on a magazine, settling in for an afternoon nap.

Categories: Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

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

31 replies

  1. It’s nice to catch up with you. I love that you’re trying something new, or going back to it. I find that I see differently (I almost wrote better, but I’m not sure about that) when I look through a camera.
    Sweet Junior looks blissful. Oh, and Happy belated Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I never was much of a photographer, just the usual, point-and-shoot. But several years ago I developed an interest, I don’t remember what precipitated it. I’m not mechanically inclined, though, so I was quickly overwhelmed with the T3i and gave it to my husband. Now that he’s “graduated” to a new model, he’s been urging me to try again. Something new seems like a good thing to do right now 🙂 That’s funny about Junior … he does get these blissful looks on his face sometimes 🙂


  2. A belated Happy Birthday, Marie, and one to your dad, alive in your mind. I understand about the work writing/creative writing–since all my work is writing, and it’s all done in the same space, too. That’s cool that you’re going back to photography. I don’t know anything about it. Sometimes all we can do is stay in our bubble, and at least you have a relatively nice one. Junior seems to think so. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril! Yes, I like my bubble 🙂 I will be happy when I can reclaim my writing space, but that’s months away. In meantime, photography gives me something to think about, a challenge for my brain and eyes. I’m happy to have my cats as subjects 🙂


            1. Ugh. When our Mikey was in his last days, he had irritable bowel syndrome. We had to confine him to a room where I laid puppy training pads all over the floor. I had to sleep in that room too because Mikey was blind and frail. When he pooped, he’d always lose his balance and fall into it. Then I’d have to give him a bath. He was such a sweet boy, though. He’d sit patiently through his bath and toweling. It was a rough time because he might poop two or three times a night and I’d have to clean him and clean up after him each time. I became sleep-deprived. I’d go through it all over again, though. He was the sweetest kitty I have ever known. ❤️ (Our oldest at almost 17 has started leaving us the occasional surprise 🙄)

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the promo, Marie! It’s nice to be mentioned in the same breath as our friend, Morgan Mayer. 😉

    We’re like you–livin’ in a bubble that feels safe and offers lots of shots at those fleeting moments of complete bliss. Just the other day we did a hike around a mountain lake, which in our religion stands in for saying a rosary.

    Hope you and Greg are both hangin’ in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Kevin! You have a very lovely bubble! We’re envious, but we’re also grateful that we’re not still living in a one-bedroom apt in SF … where physical distancing would be near impossible. I think the only reason we survived the one-bedroom was because we had Golden Gate Park just a block away and back then it was FREE. Eh, if I have to be shut in, at least I have a leafy green yard and good hikes nearby. Hope you and Sue are doing well 🙂


    1. Thank you, Jill! What a lovely idea—I guess you did get my present because it was my birthday wish to go to the beach 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy the photos. I’ll keep at it 🙂


  4. Thank goodness we can still get out and walk and hang out in nature during this pandemic, at least those of us who don’t live in an urban setting. I’d be going buggy if it wasn’t for my daily walks.

    Thank you so much for mentioning my new books! Very kind of you and a sweet surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you’re welcome, Carrie 🙂 I’m thrilled that you have two new books, not just one. It does affect my mental health when I don’t get outside. Between my job and the weather, I might be stuck in for a couple of days straight. I get very cranky then 😉


  5. Love these photos of the beach! It sounds as if you are thriving during the pandemic! There are some upsides for people like you who have creative projects. I am finding a lot of peace and enrichment in staying home and doing things I may not have done, especially writing projects that had been derailed or shelved. The stress occurs when going out, and one can only be cautious.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’ve gone to the “grab and go” approach to shopping the few times we’ve been out in the world. Like you, our bubble is our house. I’d like to walk more, but it’s so hot here. I wilt like a hothouse orchid when I go outside.

    I’ll be interested in learning what changes you see between WP business and premium. I have the business right now, but I’m not sure why anymore. Also looking forward to your photographs taken with your new old camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Ally, it’s so hot and steamy here. Heat indexes of 105 🥵 Between the heat and a couple of days of nothing but rain, I haven’t taken a walk since last Sunday. Not good for my mental health. As for WP, I don’t expect to see much change since I use so few of the Business features … but we’ll see 😉


  7. Happy belated birthday, Marie! I see that as usual I’m late to the party, but at least this way perhaps I can keep your bubble a bit festive. Like you, we keep to our bubble which is our home and only go out to pick up groceries we’ve ordered online and are delivered to our trunk at an appointed hour. I too have lost my creative desire to write, but not because I’m working from home. The BIG D (aka depression) hit me about two months into the pandemic and although I’ve been riding highs and lows, writing just doesn’t call my name most days. I’ve tried other creative projects. I’m working on an afghan for our daughter’s Christmas gift, and a first birthday gift for our 4th great-granddaughter in January. I can handle that for so long and then arthritis kicks up and have to rest the hands. I’ve been trying to tackle the books I have loaded on my Kindle. Didn’t realize I tended to pick up rather dark stories. Not made for now. Love that you’ve taken up photography. I look forward to seeing what you create. Always enjoy reading what you’ve been doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy birthday, Marie! You are a Cancer, too :). You’ve inspired me to get out of here and go somewhere in nature that isn’t within 7 blocks of home haha. Beautiful where you live! Thank you for the updates, too! I didn’t realize that about Carrie Rubin’s new books. YES!!!!
    And, wow, I am thrilled to hear that you have taken up photography. Your photos are so beautiful, and to think that you can put your creativity somewhere now that nourishes you is fabulous.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Luanne! Sorry to be so late in responding to your comment. Yes, there is a lot of beauty where I live. If only it wasn’t so hot! But I know you all have it worse. I hope you’re managing to stay cool and hydrated!


  9. Like Luanne I’ve been staying close to home, venturing within the wilds of suburbia. I miss seeing a more rugged terrain, but so be it. Your photos are wonderful. You’re getting the hang of this thing called photography. Happy snapping.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, there! Sorry I didn’t see your comment until now. For some reason, WP sent it to Spam (I hate it when it does that). I’m glad you enjoyed the views 🙂 Hope you are safe and well!


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