Saturday, August 20, 2022

Another Spider Photo, Life In Florida


 Last night before we had supper, it began to pour rain. The sky let loose with so much water that it almost appeared as if the air was turning white with it. 


The rain pounded the tin roof over us and the eaves gushed forth the overflow. It was tremendous! We sat in our own silence and watched and listened. It was a moment to pay attention. Thunder rumbled and cracked and the world shook with the power of it all. 


Sister Spider was soaked. 
The whole experience took us over in a way and we were infused with the energy of it all, inflamed, too, with a sort of wildness in our guts. A primal feeling. I think it may have temporarily, at least, changed my very molecules with the power of the rainfall and the electric charge of the air. 

This morning we slowly made our way to a departure for the beach. I robbed the stash of Publix fried chicken to take for our lunch, sliced melon and bagged cherries. We ran into another huge downpour on our way and I worried that we'd be rained out. 


But by the time we got to the state park, the skies were blue above us, although a little threatening in the distance. And it was so hot. We ate our lunches in a little picnic place with a shelter and benches, everyone sharing their bounty. Rachel is the best when it comes to bringing treats for everyone. From humus to pimento cheese to yogurt and chocolate-covered raisins, it was all delicious.
And then we hauled our stuff down to the beach over the burning sand. The water was at low tide and I am not sure any of us could have walked far enough to reach water higher than our waists. Bald Point, the name of the place where we were, is at the place where two bays join and it really wasn't nearly as fine as the sand and water off St. George Island or Dog Island, either, at least on the Gulf side of both of them. But there were restrooms and it was closer and we had the place almost to ourselves. The water was warm as a bath, the sand in the water a sort of gray color. But we all just gathered in it and the kids kicked around and we floated and sat and knelt in the water and talked and laughed. 


There was a  little girl there, whose parents were sitting up on the beach, who was as friendly and fearless as a puppy. She was five years old, and the cutest thing you've ever seen. Deep brown eyes, dimples, a missing tooth, and her name was Charley. She fell into our group so gracefully that for a little while, she seemed to be one of us. She told us jokes, she immediately latched on to August and Maggie and they played together as easily as, well- puppies. At one point she came up to me, kneeling the water, stood right in front of me and said, "Hug," and so I hugged her. I mean- what else was there to do? I suppose I look quite safe to small children. 

After we'd all soaked to deep levels of brininess, we got out and sat in our chairs and passed around more chips and Charley had to go home and the boys buried each other in the sand. 




The little guys were so thrilled. 

Mr. Moon and I packed up and came on home soon after. There was thunder off in the distance and I think everyone was about ready to get on the road. The water at the beach may not have been ideal but it was a beautiful place, nonetheless. 


Florida truly is a wonderous place if you know where to look. Last night, as Glen and I sat on the porch in awe, watching the storm, we talked about how all of the people who have lived in this house probably did the same in the summers. Sat and watched from the porch as the Florida rains came down, right where we were sitting, no doubt looking at the same live oaks. 
I feel a deep and humble connection with all of those people, grateful for the break from work, grateful for the water on gardens, grateful for the relief provided by the sudden break in heat the rain provides, grateful for the sturdy house which sheltered them, as it shelters us, from the storm. 

Love...Ms. Moon




30 comments:

  1. I am really enjoying learning about the non-touristy parts of Florida. I have always thought of Florida as Miami and swamps etc (thank you TV) but you live in a glorious part of the world.

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    1. North Florida is far more like Georgia in our trees and rivers than it is Miami. We do have beaches close by though, so that's nice too. We are definitely not South Florida nor are we Central Florida with Disney World. Florida is a very, very long state.

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  2. Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
    Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
    Try imagining a place where it's always safe and warm
    Come in, she said
    I'll give ya shelter from the storm

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    1. One of my very favorite Dylan songs which translates to one of my favorite songs in the world. Thank you.

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  3. Florida truly is beautiful. Your love of your house and home state shine through. The loveliest beaches in the state are in the panhandle. Even lovelier with family,
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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    1. There are some absolutely amazing and fabulous beaches in the panhandle for sure. I do love Florida for its beauty but I swear to god- the politics are enough to make me consider moving.

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  4. Just sublime, thank you
    Susan M

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  5. I want to get a tattoo of this post and live with it for the rest of my days.
    The children, the sand that is so fine it looks like brown sugar, your house and wonderful Mrs. Spider. "HUG"!

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    1. Oh, Linda Sue. You are so kind. Thank you.

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  6. I love how you write about Florida with such understanding and appreciation. I think you have to live there to see places like this.

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    1. You're right. Most tourists come to Florida wanting to go to Disney Land and see the beaches in Miami and they miss the most incredible parts of the state. The rivers, the jungly state parks, the wildlife, the old architecture, the hidden away beaches on the gulf. I am so lucky to live where I do.

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  7. This was a perfect day and a half. Charley was the stamp of universal approval.

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    1. You're right. And I think our family will be talking about Charley for a long, long time. She was pure sunshine and dimples.

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  8. The Panhandle of Florida is the only part of Florida I don't know. I used to live in Miami. I think I missed the best part! You write about this part of Florida so beautifully. Makes me think of 'Cross Creek'. Do you ever worry about sharks when you go in the ocean? Have you seen any. Yikes.
    Paranormal John

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    1. Ah- you DID miss the best part of Florida, for sure! But south Florida has its charms. It really does. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is one of my favorite authors. Her sense and love of place was remarkable. Now- as to sharks. Yes, I do worry about them. I told Rachel yesterday as we waded out into the murky water that although I have spent so many, many hours in the ocean and never seen a shark while I was swimming, I still worry about them. So- there's that! I have seen them swimming by when I was onshore and I have seen them caught on lines. So I do know for sure they are there.

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  9. Oh how I wish I had a front porch where I could sit and watch a rainstorm. I've watched a thundering rainstorm standing inside my front door, but it's not quite the same. Your day at the beach sounds heavenly. and with the water being warm too!

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    1. This house is as rich in porches as it is in history! One of the many reasons I love it so much. Right now I'm on the back porch and another rain is falling. It's beautiful.
      The water yesterday was TOO warm. It was not refreshing! But it was wet.

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  10. Your rainstorm photos feel refreshing, peaceful even, restorative. We can almost smell wet vegetation and high humidty from here.

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    1. The humidity when it rains is fine. It's when it isn't raining that it's so horrible. I've just turned the fan off on my back porch because the rain we're having now has cooled things off at least ten degrees.

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  11. I love storms too - although not the one we had on Friday night!!! Damn that was nasty! And yes you are lucky that you realize all the people that lived in that house before you probably saw the same things. It's a comforting thing isn't it!

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    1. It IS a comforting thing. Especially during hurricanes, somehow. Of course we have no way of knowing how many times the roof has had to be replaced! But the body of the house has stood strong.

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  12. What beauty. Thank you for sharing this day with us, Mary.

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  13. Isn't it wonderful, amazing how little children are just open to the world and everyone in it? and who hasn't gotten buried in the sand as a kid. And then you have sand in every crack and crevice. I could use a day at the beach. And the rain. I know what you mean, that pouring rain. I looked out at it a lot being such a rare thing here lately. Before it started I was walking the dog. She and I smelled it on the air so we headed back.

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    1. This child was like most children in her openness to the world to the power of ten. I couldn't figure out whether she desperately needed attention or was so well-loved that she had no doubt of her acceptance by others.
      It's pouring rain again here right now. And oh, it smells SO good.

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful day. Your rain reminds me of our rain, several days ago!

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  15. What a good story. Flip side of Serge Storm - love of Florida without all the killing.

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    1. So funny- Glen and I were just discussing Tim Dorsey's Serge novels yesterday. They are unique, to say the least.

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