Friday, November 27, 2009

Ocracoke Gratitude

Thank you, Creator, for the blessings of this week; there have been so many. One of them has been the opportunity to watch the weather change, sometimes in a matter of minutes. Thanksgiving day really was filled with blessings -a two-hour barefoot walk in warm sand on the beach, an amazing sunset shared with a flock of mallards on the banks of the Sound, good food and great music. Of course, gratitude for the light playing on the Sound, slick cam most of the day, after rain on Wednesday night. I forget how crystal clear the sky here can be, with a million stars shining like zircons. I said goodnight to the sky and the water in waxing moon brightness.

Awoke in the middle of the night to the house rattling off its foundation as wind whipped through the thicket next door. In early morning sparkling light, whitecaps frothed the Sound as giant clouds scuttled. I went to the beach, and I was the only person as far as I could see! Too cold and windy to stay, but I'd promised I'd see Mother Ocean every day. As I write this, clouds are rolling in from the north, the wind has laid down, the whitecaps are gone, and the Sound is steel gray again. My usual breakfast mallard companions were absent this morning, but have returned this afternoon.

I wonder what it takes to earn your living in such a changing, tempermental world? The real, old Ocracokers are indeed a hardy lot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ocracoke Dingbatters/Ocracoke Light

Light on Ocracoke seems to change every minute. I awoke to bright sunlight, the Sound glowing rose beneath gentle clouds. By the time I was drinking coffee on the deck, the clouds had lowered and the horizon was shrouded in mist. The wind died, so that the oars of two kayakers dipped rhythmically into quicksilver as they drifted by, their voices carrying loudly across the slick cam water.

My trip into the village was mommucked by dingbatters - they've arrived for the holiday - more people in the grocery store than I've seen all other days combined. My visit to the Museum, however, was wonderful. I sat through the entire video about the Ocracoke brogue, so I'm trying out a few of the words in this blog. Not hard to understand the words for an old beach girl, whose "slick cam" waters were often "mommucked by dingbatters" in the summer!

Now, in late afternoon solitude, the rain that came while I was in the village has stopped, the wind is rippling the sound again beneath heavy clouds. My only companions are the mallards whose flotilla seems to carry them back and forth in front of my house, the drakes rising and flapping wings, then settling back down to drift the incoming tide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ocracoke Scavenger Hunt/Solitude

Sunday night, as I was writing the previous entry, my sister Tracy and our friend Robin called. I glanced at the clock, realizing the Cedar Island ferry had just docked. Tracy promised they weren't on the island. Robin said that, because they were so disappointed they weren't here, they'd arranged a scavenger hunt for me. I was to go IMMEDIATELY to Howard's Pub and ask the bartender to take my picture holding a Howard's Pub napkin. He would then give me clue #2. Okay, I laughed, I'll play.

Arriving at Howard's, I was greeted by the bartender, who asked if I wanted a Guiness. I was, of course, suspicious that he knew it was my favorite beer. It still took a minute for me to look down the bar and see Tracy and Robin - great surprise! We had fun adventures shopping and eating at Jason's. They departed this morning, after arranging for a gift certificate for me at Island Gallery - thank you beach girls!

So now, in the dove gray light that blurs the line between sea, sound, and horizon, I am alone. It's time to write, read, meditate and sometimes just stare into the Pamlico Sound. I am truly blessed!
Blessing to you!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ocracoke Wind... My Soul Is In the Water

Dreams do come true. I've dreamed for a year of being back on Ocracoke. I'm finally here, with a fierce wind howling, rattling the windows, white-capping North Pond and pushing sea grass into my front yard. Rain was predicted for this glorious Sunday, but didn't come (yet), so my walk on the beach into the wind was breath-taking. I asked the dripping boy clutching his boogie board where he was from. "Russia," he replied. He'd have to be, to be swimming today in the steel-gray ocean. But the Blues were running, so the fisher-folk were happy.

I watched an Ocracoker pilot his Harker's Island boat into the Pamlico Sound chop this morning. He stood tall and proud at the wheel. Reminded me of Daddy and those cold mornings he and I spent in the oyster beds at the north end of Wrightsville Beach. Surely other children get their own oyster knife for their fifth birthday?

Wandered through the village, stopping at familiar stores, asking about holiday hours and plans for sales. My two favorite stores weren't open today. Kathleen O'Neal's Island Gallery and Sunflower won't be open until later in the week. That's part of the charm of Ocracoke - allowing myself to just be in the moment and know that what's meant to be, will be.

Molasses Creek, Ocracoke's home-grown bluegrass band sings, "My soul is in the water." Mine too. In the water, in the salt wind whipping sand, in the cry of the gulls streaming in black and white ribbons parted in the night by the ferry's bow, in the ochre sunset over the sound, and in the simplicity of just being in one of the most beautiful places on Mother Earth.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Giving Thanks

My Lakota friends say that setting aside one day each year to give thanks is a problem. Every day, they say, should be a day of thankful prayer. Today I am grateful for so much, but particularly for TIME to slow down, reflect, and honor Mother Earth around me. I am grateful to participants in our workshops (email deb.bowen.crone@gmail to be added to my mailing list). I am grateful that, in some small way, the work I do makes a difference in someone's life. I am grateful that my students are my best teachers.

I am grateful to those folks working to stop Titan Cement (see from destroying this place I love so much. I am grateful to President Obama for working toward health care reform. I am grateful for the work of Lynn Heritage and Grandmothers for Peace ( There are many, many other organizations making differences in lives, and I offer up gratitude for their work.

In my beliefs, the New Year began on October 31, as we celebrated the last of the harvest, and I am grateful for the new year's approach. I will spend some time in the mountains and on the ocean soon, reconnecting with Mother Earth and Mother Ocean in deep, blissful solitude, and for that gift, there aren't enough words to express my gratitude.
peace and blessings,