The greatest sweetener…

girls3girlsbiking girls

The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment is a secret which but few discover.

Joseph Addison

 

I met these two lovelies on Cocoa Beach today.

They spotted my camera and asked me to take their picture. Of course, I was happy to oblige. They were so friendly and full of life. They were clearly having a wonderful time riding their bikes on the beach. I asked the if I could take a few shots of my own.

Perhaps they will see the images here. Perhaps they will find out how much their enjoyment of the day and each other flowed over to sweeten my day too.

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The Beginnings of Blue Mind…

palm and beach

The waves of the sea help me get back to me.

Jill Davis

We all feel it instinctively. Water heals. Water restores. Water uplifts.

As someone with a sailboat, I spend a fair amount of time on or near water. I know it puts me in another state. A better and healthier state. A calmer, more centred, more present state.

But why? To find out I’ve just begun to read Blue Mind: The Surprising Science that Shows How Being In, On, Near or Under Water Can Make you Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do.

I’ve been meaning to dip into this for a while now. I finally have and I’m sure I’ll share some of what I’m discovering in future posts.

My aha moments….

What first struck me is the notion of a red mind, gray mind and blue mind. We all know these states well. Red mind is when we are stressed, anxious, overactive yet underproductive and gray mind is when we are numb, lethargic, demotivated and unsatisfied.

Red and gray mind states feel awful — they are products of our modern lifestyles, habits and choices. Blue mind is a natural state that feels glorious. We have all experienced it.  Many of us yearn for it when we’re in a red or gray mind state and almost all of us find it very easy to reconnect with when we’re close to water.

balancelrBlue mind is a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment. It is inspired by water and elements associated with water. It takes advantage of neurological connections formed over millennia, which we are only beginning to understand now.

So many of us are drawn to water as a way to deal with the stress of our lives, to enhance the good times or to feel awe and wonder and get in touch with something larger than our small selves. If we don’t live near it, we head toward it on vacation. We wake up early to take sunrise shots over water. Our kids run through sprinklers in the summer. We immerse ourselves in it to create a feeling of extreme relaxation and well-being.

I find it fascinating that both the human brain (80% water) and the ocean (covering 70% of the Earth’s surface) are still only at the very early stages of being explored and understood by humankind. We still have so much to learn.

I’m looking forward to exploring some of the emerging science on water and blue mind in the days and weeks ahead.

I’m curious to know whether water has the power to put you in a blue mind state — and do you find yourself going out of your way to experience it?

Colours of the Bahamas…Part 1

Our grandson and granddaughter had never seen the ocean before or been to the tropics. It was delightful to see them enjoying this warm and beautiful environment.

Harbour Island is one of the Bahamian archipelago of islands.

On our recent trip to the Bahamas for a family reunion, I was presented with a bit of a photography dilemma. There was so much beauty around me that I wanted to capture — not to mention wonderful images of family members enjoying themselves — it was tempting to never let my camera leave my eye!

But knowing that other family members would be taking shots and portraits to remind us of events and activities, I gave myself permission not to be everywhere at all times with my camera — and chose simply to focus my camera in directions that delighted me. It turned out to be a good decision; I got the images I most wanted and was able to be a participant as well as an observer. So I took no pictures of the scavenger hunt that was organized for us — I simply got into racing around the island with the rest on golf carts.

While it is true that used well, a camera can be a tool for slowing down, being present to your experience and seeing in a new way, if used without discernment, it can also separate you. I tried to keep this in mind..

As anyone knows who has spent time with a camera, the light changes constantly — and some light is more pleasurable to shoot in and makes for softer, more appealing images. I no longer try to fight with it and choose my shooting times more carefully. I also bracket my landscapes more often these days to allow for exposure fusion and making HDR images.

Two things I strive for in my photography are simplicity and harmonious colour palettes. The combination of blue and green is my all-time favorite colour combination — as well as the tones of turquoise and teal that result from a mixture — so I was in heaven in the Bahamas.

Here’s a rhyme that sailors share to read the colour of the water.

“Blue, blue, go on through.” The blues are safe water.

“Green, green, nice and clean.” Greens mean it’s starting to shoal, but still safe for all but large ships.

 “Brown, brown, run aground.” The browns are trouble-don’t go there.

“White, white, it just might…” White water, as in gin clear, is most confusing of all. It marks a sand bottom that might be inches or fathoms deep.

I’m fortunate to have been to the Bahamas a couple of time before, as well as all over the Caribbean — and the colours  I love are of course everywhere in the region. That’s why I’m an island gal at heart…

For now, I’ll leave you with an impressionistic portrait of an unforgettable trip — in blue and green.

A simple sailboat Christmas, No. 24 and 25

sunrise long

We are thrilled to host some friends on the sailboat this Christmas, and we all decided to watch the sun rise from Hutchinson Island…None of us had ever seen this incredible funnel shaped light before. How glorious!

David and Beirong love photography as much as I do!

Beirong in action!

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David in action!

Beirong caught this one of Bob and Charles on her cell phone.

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Wishing everybody a season full of light and love.