Delights: October 15 to October 21

October 15: Dad would bring us into the ocean, settle us safely beyond the crash zone, and then dive under a wave. Sometimes, when he should have been shivering, he’d pop up and declare the water to be “delightful!” May or October, his first salute to the ocean would be the same. Today, the sun ignited her furnace and the breeze had retreated inland. No choice but to wade into the ocean, in its warm autumn loveliness. The waves were both gentle and engaging. I dove in. Delightful.

October 16: Yesterday colorful beach goers crowded the sand like candied almonds. Today, rippling waves glazed the sand and the sun dusted the ocean with sugar. A kayaker, life-jacketed and alone, perched on the water, a cherry for the day’s confection. 

October 17: A young couple biked along a winding shaded road. The dad towed a canvas baby carrier. As we drove past them, I turned to see if they had one baby or two. Two. Leashed to the back of the carrier, two tiny dogs leaned into the breeze.

October 18: A lime green pick-up truck ascended the hill. Tools rested against the truck’s scaffolding and equipment weighed down its bed. Clipped above the front bumper lay two orange cones, pointing toward each other with bottoms flared toward the tires: a jaunty mustache above the truck’s shiny grill. 

October 19: Our yoga teacher invited us to conjure a snow globe and then settle into our shape like the flakes drifting to the bottom. How often have I shaken a snow globe, gazed at the swirl and then agitated it again (and again) to sustain the snowy tumult. How profoundly different to lie inside the snow globe, face up, as each flake — my to-do list, my worries, my own tumult shaken repeatedly throughout the day — settles over me just for those moments, to blanket me in rest.

October 20: So you know that I pick up trash on my daily walks. Scraps of paper, plastic bits, and whatnot fit comfortably in a bag in my pocket. The other day, though, I harvested a wad of rain-soaked paper from our curb. It consisted of pages of neatly written notes on a pad from a local clean water organization. After sun-drying the goods, I began my e-sleuthing. Within hours, I had (1) tracked down the grateful owner; (2) reconnected with an old work friend; and (3) found myself volunteering to help with the Clean Water Act’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2022. I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow?

“Housetop” variation (1998), by Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee Bend, Alabama
Mosaic (2021), by Sanford Biggers, a three-dimensional work inspired by “Housetop” variation, above, for the Phillips’ “Intersections” exhibit.

October 21: I sauntered past the eagle-topped lampposts and gazed down into the wooded valley of Rock Creek. At the Phillips Collection a half-mile behind me I had allowed the colors and textures of David Driskell’s work to seep through my pores. Ahead, a new friend waited with her baby and iced drinks. I’d asked about the nearest metro stop. “Just walk,” she’d said. A welcomed lesson in how to do nothing.

Ghetto Wall 2 (1970), by David Driskell

Bonus: The comments on my recent post Birth Amid the Noise are beginning to inspire my own call to action. I encourage you to check them out, if you haven’t read them already. 

For me, I want not only to give voice to the ideas choking my own throat, but also to help others who similarly struggle — whether because of the noise around them or the noise in their heads. I will work very hard to be sure that my own words are the nurturing “good noise” kind. Want to join me?

Readers, to receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!

If you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. You’ll also see links to my four short published essays. I’m glad you’re here!

An apartment building along Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C.

10 thoughts on “Delights: October 15 to October 21

  1. Ryan, Anne M - (anneryan) October 21, 2021 — 9:29 pm

    Dear Carol Ann, I love your story of how picking up trash by the curb led to volunteering for the 50th anniversary celebration of the CWA. Those found notes didn’t end up flushed into a nearby stream. Still preventing pollution!!!

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    1. Thank you, Anne! We did our part, didn’t we?


  2. Giving voice is ever so important. Wonderful story of your walk.


  3. So many special things this week…picking up those notes, the art works and the beach….what a wonderful post!


    1. Sometimes I think my delights just find themselves; al I need to do is pay attention! Thank you so much for being part of my lovely week.


  4. I’m intrigued by the “the eagle-topped lampposts”. Is this a metaphor, are they decorative / sculptural eagles, or are they the real deal?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question! Here in Washington DC, they are definitely metaphorical (the Bald Eagle is the “National Bird,” etc.). But I’m happy to report that our area now has several nesting pairs of the formerly endangered eagles. Maybe someday I’ll see feathered eagles perched on their bronze counterparts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be something special. We’ve been fortunate to see Baldies in several parts of the US, and they are truly magnificent. It’s good to know that their recovery continues.

        Liked by 1 person

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