In quoting Agnes Martin, Patti Moed “pinpoints two key elements of inspiration–the quality of light in a place and our feelings at that moment” and invites us to share something that inspires us.
And it was that phrase “the quality of light” that brought me to a source of inspiration that those of you who follow Oh, the Places We See have picked up on: I LOVE morning on the beach.
Inspiration is that state in which mind and heart are connected.Deepak Chopra
Because we’ve been going to Pawleys Island, South Carolina — same beach, different rentals — for over 40 years, mornings during our week in the summer have been a strong source of inspiration, thought, and planning for a long, long time. As an educator, I used summertime to rethink and repurpose some of what I had done as a classroom teacher, and it was that thinking that inspired me to plan for the coming year and recharge my bank of creative energy.
Early morning — even before sunrise — became my quiet time as I joined the few people who walked their dogs, looked for shells, or just pulled up beach chairs for God’s morning surprise.
At times, I couldn’t tell the exact location of the sunrise. Clouds and mist covered the sky. But I found the wait to be the part of the joy, the anticipation of a new day, a new school year, and a new me, in some cases.
And it was in these early-morning moments that I planned new ways of introducing books I’d taught for years — The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, Grapes of Wrath — in new ways, as I tried to relate old ideas to modern times and share how today’s issues are surprisingly similar yet different from those shared in the classics.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.Victor Hugo
Today, retired as I am now, I still love getting up before dawn, carrying my coffee and camera with me, and standing on the beach. I’m no longer waiting for the inspiration to teach, but I am still trying to figure out how life works, what my place is, and how I can contribute meaningfully to making the world a better place.
And, no surprise here, the beach is still a lovely place to be inspired!
For more entries in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #160: Your Inspiration, check out Patti’s blog and the responses below.
And if you’re so inclined, leave me a message. I’d love to know what inspires you — naturally or otherwise!
Travel with inspiration in mind,