So, what do I do with my long evenings? I'm back to listening to Brené Brown's work. I have started working on the letters to my dad, but I want to refresh my understanding of the language needed to express my feelings and emotions. Atlas of the Heart is one of Brené Brown's masterpieces.
Good morning, sunshine! It's another day for me to breathe in and enjoy.
I stopped at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, where Gina and Don welcomed me at the visitor center. I borrowed binoculars, and off I went to get a closer look at this remarkable bird sanctuary. It is heaven for birdwatching.
Watching the birds fly so freely inspires me to open my mind and heart. I want to be as free as a bird.
Awareness is the key to happiness. All I wish for myself is to live a wholehearted life. That can only come with a deep awareness of my feelings and emotions. It means being completely honest with myself; being willing to get on my knees with no boundaries to feel the rawness of my emotions and thoughts.
That is when I have an ‘aha’ moment.
From the responses I read about the loss of my dad, I understand I obviously experienced a side of my dad that no one could imagine. I experienced his most vulnerable side. If it was due to me being the weak link or for who knows why, I had an open window to his emotional pain.
In that moment of awareness, I raised my heart and eyes to the sky, speaking to my dad with tears in my eyes.
Abba (father in Hebrew) please, if you can hear me, I want you to know I am asking you to forgive yourself for the pain you reflected on me. With all my heart, I want you to be in a place where you can rest in peace with no more pain.
A huge relief enters my small body, and I feel almost like the flying birds above me. Why almost? I still have letters to write so I can grieve what I lost and what I never had.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is another lighthouse to discover on my way to Ocracoke Island. I like that, even though it has the same black and white stripes, the pattern now angles.
To get to Ocracoke Island, you need to hop on a ferry. It's a free ferry, taking over an hour to cross. At this time of the year, only a few cars are joining me on my journey. The skies are the highlight of this ride. There’s so much drama!
Five minutes after arriving at the island on my way to another national park campground, I make a quick stop at the Pony Pen (From Google: "Several hundreds of years ago, a shipwreck just offshore left a herd of Spanish mustangs stranded on Ocracoke Island. Their descendants still thrive here today. These ponies are a rare breed with an unusual number of vertebrae and ribs as well as a distinct shape, posture, color, size, and weight that sets them apart from other horses. Though once they roamed wild on the island, the Ocracoke Banker Ponies have been penned for their protection and cared for by the National Park Service since 1959").
I arrive at Ocracoke Campground around four-thirty. There are only four other campers in the whole campground. I found a site close to a path to the beach. It is a nice warm day with temperatures in the low 60s. A sunset walk is a must!
What a beautiful gift it is to be here now at this moment, and feel at one with the horizon and the sleepy sun. The waves are gently crashing to the shore, with no clue about the upcoming storm.
Suddenly, the sun emerged from behind the cloud on its journey down, creating my shadow. Look at that, I'm tall!
It's nice to cook dinner outside in the warm temperatures. I don't rush and enjoy cooking in the pitch dark. I have beautiful clear skies simmering with the stars to provide the perfect ambiance, and the sound of the waves just beyond the dunes is soothing. The only unwelcome guests are the mosquitoes. Really, in December?
I am faced with a dilemma. A big storm is heading east. Well, I will have to deal with it tomorrow. However, for now, I want to enjoy the starry skies.
The raindrops knocking on my roof wake me up at six-thirty. I thought the rain would start later in the day. Oh well, it's time to figure out my options. The ferry to Cedar Island is canceled for today. Staying at the campground in a storm with a tornado warning is not a safe option. The island is quite deserted at this time of the year. There is only one motel open. I stopped by nine to get a room for the night, and the kind manager let me check in right away.
That is where I am now, catching up on my writing. I do love being on this deserted island. I will check the weather tomorrow. Perhaps I'll return to the campground for another chance to feel at one with nature.