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Outer Banks Guide > Outer Banks Blogs > Eve Turek's Natural Outer Banks Blog

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
2020 Vision
I’ve been sitting for days in front of a blank screen in my mind, knowing some of what I need to say, unsure how to say it. I remember hearing a pastor some 35 years ago comment, deciding what verse to preach on Sunday was easy; discerning exactly how to share those words in ways that brought life and sparked hope, that was the hard part. I get that.

I don’t make resolutions. My New Year’s ritual starts weeks early and involves choosing a word for the next year. Actually, I pray for a word for the next year. And then, like a newly pregnant parent, I try out all sorts of word, like names, for perfect fit. This year the word that kept ringing in my head was Vision. It seemed so obvious! 2020 Vision! Vision 2020! Get it?? I even drew Vision 2020 on my most recent art journal cover, the one I started back in the fall. To me the wordplay implied clarity and focus and a sense of future direction that would inform steps in the present. Perfect word for a new decade.

On January 1, I got up in the dark and headed to the beach for sunrise. I like to greet the dawn of a new year and what better place than seaside? There were no clouds to filter or scatter the light. The early deep glow paled and then the sun rose, quickly too bright to look at directly. The photographer in me is fascinated by the trails light makes. Think for instance about the way sunlight glints on the water, forming a wider and brighter path the closer to the source it appears to be. At dawn and sometimes at dusk, I look for the bright color that shimmers in the wet sand between wave breaks. I love to see the rays play out from behind the clouds and I especially love the “anti-crepuscular” rays that stretch all the way to the opposite horizon, appearing opposite where the sun itself is. I love moonlight on the water, and the halo effect of colors around a cloud-covered moon face. Since you need light for vision, it seemed fitting to focus on light for this, the first blog of 2020.

And since I think in spiritual and metaphoric terms as well as in linear and literal ones, I’ve also been remembering a favorite scripture: God is Light, and in God is no darkness at all. And, the light shines in darkness, and darkness cannot overcome it.

I journaled some of all this optimism for almost the first week of the new year. Then, on the morning of January 6, I got a phone call. Our 21-year old grandson in CT had died a few hours earlier. I’ve never lived through a literal earthquake, although a sonic boom once rattled the whole cottage I was sitting in when it happened. I can tell you that sudden loss feels like I imagine an earthquake, or a tornado, might feel. One minute your house and your life is HERE, and the next it has careened off the rails and nothing seems stable or certain. Vision? Light? Did Somebody say something about light? The earth is lurching under my feet while I and the rest of the family try to walk, blinded by our tears, through yet another valley of the Shadow.

I had previously arranged to ride up to Carova the next day with a friend whose family also experienced tragic loss a year ago. I almost waved off; I am glad I went. I found breaths of comfort in her presence, and in watching the horses live out their wintertime lives.

With our roller-coaster weather, I have woken these past days to robins and cheerful chickadees. I saw for the first time in months a Pileated Woodpecker, the bird I associate with this grandson’s father, also gone too soon, as it flew over a broken, dead snag where another smaller woodpecker balanced, silhouetted against the sun, eating its breakfast. Same family, different species. The sighting gave me another breath of comfort.

I am no saint. I have cried and cussed in my head and wanted to throw things, these past few days. I’ve been mad at the Universe, at the state of the world, and I’ve turned over rocks looking for someone or something to blame. I’ve thought if only and coulda-woulda-shoulda even though I KNOW how futile (and false) those thoughts are. But thank God, I can actually thank God. I can thank God that most mornings, I sit with my journal and pray on paper. I can thank God that I have a record of our conversation the last time that grandson came to visit, (thanks to that same journal), and that I know I offered the best counsel I could to encourage him on a brighter path. I can thank God for light. I can thank God for love. I can thank God we reunited with this grandson and his family in 2016 after years apart.

The full moon rose Friday night, obscured by clouds, then briefly blazing through them in radiant, widening circles of blues and violets and golds. Clouds raced by, changing the pattern second by second. The moon, of course, is a mirror. It reflects the sun our night does not see directly. This, the first full moon of the new year, the new decade, is the Wolf Moon. When I downloaded those moon images, I was startled to see the shape of what looked like a wolf’s face above that moon in two or three images. I can hear my own heart’s howling. But this wolf isn’t howling. It looks more like a pensive watcher, more like a beloved companion than a wild animal to be feared. Maybe there is a message there.

Maybe I need to remember the sun keeps on shining whether I am facing it or not, that the moon, seemingly barren and lifeless, makes a beautiful reflective mirror. Some days that is the best I can hope for my own life, and maybe, just for today, that is enough.      

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New Year's morning. I associate meanings with colors; yellow stands for joy.

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Other than my two life-list visits to Pelican Island rookeries, I saw more pelicans on New Year's day than I have ever seen flying here, in any season. One line had more than 75.

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I went out to the beach again at dusk on New Year's and received this gift: sun rays on the opposite horizon! I love that!

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Can you spot the heart? Hint: this horse is walking in love.

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We found Gus! The stallion brought up from Shackleford several years ago finally has a mare of his own, an older gal named Taka. He is very tender and protective of her.

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Here is a young filly I did not see when she was a new foal. Since she was born at Easter, someone named her Rabbit. Pretty little thing, wearing her early winter coat.

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We saw this lone horse trotting by the water and assumed at first sighting it was a bachelor stallion. Nope. It was a mare whom I understand later reunited with the rest of her harem.

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After we came off the beach, I hung around watching the clouds at Whalehead in late afternoon. A storm was building and the light show was spectacular.

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Before the sun disappeared behind the storm clouds in the west, it lit up these clouds over the ocean right before sunset. Timing is everything.

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The Wolf Moon. Can you see the wolf looking down from above the moon?

posted by eturek at 10:44 PM

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