A month ago, I took a trip with my husband to the French-Caribbean island of Martinique. My husband is from Martinique, so it’s like home for us. Each time I go, I am welcomed with the embrace of Martinique’s exquisite natural beauty – lush forests, purifying sunlight, cleansing rain showers, wise rivers and oceans. And when I leave, I take with me a new and deeper gift of inner-knowledge. It’s always a transformative experience.
On this trip, I spent some time at L’Anse Ceron, a small beach nestled within the Caribbean Sea on the North West coast of the island. L’Anse Ceron is not as known to tourists, so it’s the ideal spot for a quiet, contemplative retreat. Though I have frequented this beach many times, I always discover something new. My soul was being called for some seaside therapy, and I knew L’Anse Ceron would have just the remedy that I needed. Nature is intuitive and intelligent like that.
I have this ritual of silently saluting the water each time I draw near it. It’s my way of offering respect and clearing space to receive. Not doing so always feels uncomfortable to me - like entering someone’s home without a proper greeting. If we can greet each other, certainly we can greet the natural elements that ensure the livelihoods of everyone on this planet.
As a wave of the Caribbean Sea brushed over my feet, I was acknowledged with majestic benevolence. And in that moment, my soul was overcome by gratitude and adoration. I felt both colossal and microscopic all at the same time. All I could do was just stand there. All I could do was just pause. That moment felt as new as the very first time I experienced it. And then I realized the relevance of seeing everything anew.
Like many, I am habituated in “looking at,” but not seeing. Looking at the vastness of the sea is not the same as really seeing it. To really see is to see with the heart. The heart can see the same sea as something new and lovely. I learned that I have been “looking at” things in my life through the lens and perceptions of yesterday. By resetting the way that I see the daily events of my life to the present, I can allow my heart to invite more love in.
And it is precisely because of moments like the one I experienced at L’Anse Ceron, that I am reminded of why I love and appreciate nature so much. I love the new discoveries. I love the wisdom. I love how nature makes me feel. But mostly, I love how nature is always available to outpour love. Nature is like a Valentine’s Day gift that keeps giving.
Leondria (Lea) Taty is a clinical instructor and an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), with board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. She facilitates people on their journey of wellness through a blend of conventional and evidence-based complementary and alternative modalities. She also loves to write, and regularly contributes healthcare content within the medical community. She also loves “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and is actively trying to live an adventurous version of her own.
As our global human population grows, finding a quiet, undisturbed place in nature seems to be more challenging. It’s not that I don’t like people, I do. I just also enjoy spending some time in pure nature-no noisy trucks, no distracting man-made objects alone or with just my family or a few friends. It's good for my soul. Add to that, the excitement of discovering something amazing, makes it fun Lucky for us, here in the USA, there are several natural places preserved for us to explore and rejuvenate our spirit.
Today I want to share with you a wonderful place along the coast of North Carolina that was a real treasure to explore-The Rachel Carson Reserve, in Beaufort, North Carolina. This estuarine was named after Carson in 1985, one of many posthumous honors created in her name after her death in 1964. Carson was a woman who wore many distinguished hats-marine biologist, renowned author of several environmental books, conservationist and researcher. Her work led to the movement of eliminating the pesticide DDT from use and many other important environmental advocacy firsts.
The Rachel Carson Reserve is part of a series of islands that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. This area serves as a natural outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the public can learn about influences that shape and sustain coastal areas as well as enjoy raw nature. Getting to the island is easy-a short, five-minute boat ride from the town of Beaufort will drop you off on Carrot Island for a small fee. Walking trails are clearly marked. We lucked out and hit prime time for low tide, allowing us to cross over to Bird Shoal Island. We walked for a few miles and were delighted by the variety of shells and sand dollars! A group of wild horses added to the beauty. Rather than me telling you more about it, let me share a picture tour with you. As descriptive as may writing can be, nothing captures the essence of a place as a picture.
We went in February, on a beautiful weekend where the weather hit the 60's. Dogs are allowed on the island, but there are some prickly plants along the path, so be careful.
We hit the sand dollar lottery! I have never seen a live sand dollar, have you?
Lots of beautiful shells. Look at the size of this live mussel, which we put back in the water, of course.
Feral horses roam the island.
Duke Marine Lab and The NOAA sit just across the channel.
We pick up beach trash wherever we go. This piece of fishing line was the ONLY piece of trash we found the whole day! The reserve was pristine.
I highly recommend a visit to this special place whether you go alone, with your family or friends. It's a great place for children to learn more about the environment, especially if they do some studying about Ms. Carson before they go. Beaufort is a beautiful, waterfront town with great southern hospitality and other fun things to do as well.
Do you have a special place in nature that you recommend?
#RachelCarson #Beach #NC #Beaufort #Nature #NatureHeals #Shells #Vacation #Environment
Is your perfect day at the beach one where you are lying on a chaise lounge, sipping a pina colada under an umbrella made of palm tree fronds? Eighty-degree trade winds whispering sweet nothings in your ears, a good book in your hands that pushes away every worry, an afternoon nap so deep that you wake up wondering where you are as you wipe away the drool that leaked down the side of your face? Me too. But, that’s not always possible. Alas, the beach can be great, even off-season. Here are 6 reasons why:
One: You get it all to yourself! Well, almost. You may have to share it with a solitary jogger or maybe a retiree sweeping the sand with a metal detector hoping to find treasure. You probably won’t be hit in the head with a beach ball, however, or have to listen to a boom box playing your least favorite song.
Two: No Bathing Suit required. Phew! Tired of trying to squish those extra pounds into a bathing suit that feels more like sausage casing? Hit the beach off-season in some warm, cozy wear. You don’t even have to do your hair, throw on a warm hat or a worn baseball cap; you’ll be in style.
Three: You can bring Rover. Many beaches allow dogs off-season. Dogs love to romp on the sand and toy with the waves.
Four: Wildlife watching. Wildlife behaves wild in the off-season when us humans around invading their turf. If you're lucky you'll see dolphins teaching their young how to surf the waves close to the beach, whales migrating to and from the south to mate and bear their young, and seagulls fetching their own dinner when they don’t have your potato chip bag to raid. Why we even spotted a pig one winter on the beach hanging with his volleyball playing beach friends.
Five: Save money. Waterfront hotels offer low rates. No beach pass required.
Six: Good night sleep. The beach offers that salty taste and the lulling rhythm of the waves to tune down your internal chatter all year.
Do you have a favorite beach you like to visit no matter what time of year it is? Coming up later this week: A special beach to visit.
#health #natureheals #outdoors #nature