Sunday, January 1

warm with gratitude


There are any number of ways to spend the morning of the first day of the new year, but
high on my list would be at the beach with sunlight glinting on the sea grass.


Along the shore was a kind of seaweed that ranged in color from pink to magenta and combined with the white foam-- it was downright festive. I kid you not. Festive. The only thing missing were little paper horns rolling in the surf.

Even the shore birds seemed partial to it-- although they seemed to want to eat it, which wasn't really calling to me-- I just liked the color.


There were birds and rocks and things.
Water and light.
A guy went swimming while all his friends hooted from the shore.


I was entranced by the ripples of sand lines that the tide creates.


And when I looked up-- two hours had slipped by.


When we first arrived, a very dear white-haired man walking toward us stopped to chat. He showed me the piece of driftwood he had found that had a face on it-- he pointed out to me where the ears, eyes and nose of the animal head were-- but he didn't tell me what the animal was. He told me I was beautiful and that I had beautiful eyes. He held out his hand and gave me a 'gratitude' rock. He told me that he had been walking all morning thinking about his parents and his grandparents and their grandparents and feeling overcome with gratitude. He got a bit teary, but kept smiling.

The rock was still warm from his holding it.

I dug into my jacket pocket and gave him the bit of white shell I had found that was shaped like the silhouette of an angel.

We wished each other a happy new year and headed in opposite directions.

I don't know that I have ever begun a day like that--- and I like to think it bodes well for the year ahead.


I hope someone crosses your path today and tells you how beautiful you are and what beauty there is in your eyes.

Bisous, e


  1. Dear Elizabeth- Happy 2012. I read this about a half hour ago and the tears are still flowing. I had to return and let you know what a beautiful beautiful post this is and how grateful I am to have read it this evening. Happy New Year. Diane

  2. Oh Elizabeth what a touching story and beautiful wishes. Thank you. May oodles of blessings shower you in 2012.


  3. I am so grateful I have found your blog. I adore your photos, they have such a simple beauty to them, something I seem to never capture. Thank you for all that you do, and share. I wish all the best for you, and your pups in 2012.

  4. I heart this so much. Happy New Year, my dear! xoxox

  5. isn't it so so beautiful when people open their hearts and ignore "social decorum?" love love love to you my queen.

  6. Happiest of New Years to you, E. You brighten so many of my days and I don't say thank you nearly enough.

  7. in loving gratitude for you and this first post of 2012 - may you be blessed in this year and beyond...peace, b

  8. what a lovely exchange between you two...sounds like a great start to the new year. sending you hugs...xx

  9. oh my gosh...teary over here you so... and you are beautiful every day and there is SO much beauty in your eyes...xo

  10. Wow what a way to start the new year.

  11. You have a gift for giving and receiving blessings, but most of all for sharing.

  12. happiest of year to you dear E. love this actually brought me a little teary. been teary all day actually...this is a great way to start a walk, start a day and a year. many many moments just like this for you!

  13. It is hard to see what I am typing--the blur of fresh tears...this was such a beautiful encounter. He was right, you know.


  14. For some reason, this reminds me of that first world war story where on Christmas Day German troops and the Allies suspended fighting and played football in No Man's Land. Kindness between random strangers in a mad, mad world I guess.

    Oh how I love your photos! They all look so tranquil. And tranquility is something of a novelty here now due to the severe gales battering Scotland at the moment. We've suffered so much damage over the last day or so that it's a blessed relief to look at your beautiful pictures and imagine myself there instead!

    Happy New Year to you, E, or "Bliadhna Mhath Ur" as many of us say here ...

  15. i began reading your post and thought i was going to comment on your beautiful images of the grasses...but then came the gorgeous, festive seaweed shots...and then the ripples and shells and stones...oh my. and then came the end of your post. and now my eyes are full of tears. that might be the most beautiful story i have ever heard. what magic and softness. [other than what i've just written] i am speechless.

  16. what a stunning start to a new year---thank you for transporting me from the grey city to your ( tropical!) sea and for reminding me that magic happens and kindness spreads. xoxo yes--I have a feeling for me, too, that 2012 will be a good year---I'd like that :)

  17. I'm late to the party- but, that was an amazing way to start the new year- with a warm gratitude rock, a sunny walk by the sea and words affirming your beauty. Awesome. I love the pictures you post here of your rambles on the beach and around where you live.

  18. Damn, I had a whole comment written and stupid Google deleted it. What I think I said was this: I have not been able to get this post off of my mind for 3 days. The simplicity of the story, the stranger who gave you such a gentle gift, a reminder of your beauty and a wish for the new year ahead. The giving was so perfect. And although it made me wish for such a gift for myself, I instantly felt more deeply that I wanted to be the giver. I hope to meet someone, sometime this year and give them that kind of a feeling.
    A few years ago we tried to start a family tradition wherein we would do random acts of kindness and leave a small anonymous note behind, whether it was paying for groceries for the person in line behind us or doing an odd job for someone in need or simply leaving a bag of goodies on a doorstep. It never really took off, but I've thought of it often since and I think maybe I'll try again this year. Because Elizn is right, kindness spreads... and you, my girl, are exactly as beautiful on the outside AND the inside as that stranger told you you are. One smart cookie, so glad he met you and saw for himself.
    xo tingle
    and P.S. was that a whore shell I spied on the beach in that photo!!!???

  19. I know how much a stranger's kind remark can lift you up and keep you warm for days later. A few years ago a man walking behind me on the town walk told me I looked like an angel. My hair was below my hips and he thought it was beautiful.
    I keep that sentiment in my mind and on days I find the world beging hard toward me--I take it out and hear all over again. I hope you keep yours and enjoy it over and over.


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e