It’s No Day At The Beach

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” ~Henry David Thoreau


Life today seems to make it impossible for me, for us, to live in the moment.  The blissful present moment, fully engrossed in one task at a time….in the flow of life wherever it is taking us.  Stress, too little time, too much time, problems, traffic, long lines, deadlines, other people’s schedules, multi-tasking….on and on and on!

I promised myself, when I retired, I would get off the whirling-dervish craziness of my life as it was making me stressed and unhappy.  And I would say I am making great progress, as I carve out a new life, a new schedule, new habits.  But it is never easy to let go of the life that overtakes us.



I long for the blissful ease I know is possible, and was presented with a reminder and opportunity several months ago when on a trip to California.  My brother moved an hour south of LA, and extended an invitation to visit.  It was an area I had never been to near San Juan Capistrano.  A 10,000 acre ranch converted to a new housing development built along and between the hills with a glimpse of the ocean.



We walked the paths built all along the hills, daily, looking at the amazing plant life.  Lost in the moment.  And because I was enjoying the moment, as we walked, I heard a familiar sound.  One that had been lost to my brother as he seldom has time to walk leisurely.



I asked him if he had seen the hummingbirds that were all around.  He was surprised as he had not seen them.  I explained that if he just walked slowly along the sidewalk, near the orange trumpet flowers, he would see them….many of them.  They were everywhere, the Anna hummingbirds.  Such a delight.  We enjoyed their daily antics and company.



Now I don’t know about you, but I feel a trip to California is wasted if I can’t visit the ocean.  It is my special place.  A place where I feel at home.  And when I visit, I am called home.  I wrote a poem that I published on my other blog called, Born of Water.  It explains how I feel about the ocean.  

The ocean is the perfect place to contemplate life, to get lost in the moment, to meditate and just be.  It is my dream to live close to the ocean again, as I know I must have in some other life. It was a blissful visit that I will share with you in another post.  For now I leave you with these few words from my poem.




Do you have a special place you enjoy visiting?  Where you are called home.


With one bloom of Hippeastrum ‘Cocktail’, and the pink trimmed Hippeastrum blooms of ‘Zombie’ just flowering, I wanted to fill a bowl of these blooms.  



Aren’t they gorgeous.  



I moved them around to see how they looked in different spots in the house.



I really am loving ‘Zombie’, and I can’t get over how long these blooms are lasting.


I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

Next week I will be speaking with another wonderful blogger as I continue with another interview post in my series, Meet The Blogger.  I hope you will stop by for what is always an interesting conversation.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only

33 Replies to “It’s No Day At The Beach”

  1. Dear Donna, I couldn’t sleep this morning early so I visited all your previous blogger interviews. What a pleasure they were! You are a gift to us all – opening up a way to meet new creative people online. After that, I wandered around the blogs for Diana in the Cape of South Africa and Catherine on the Emerald Isle of Ireland. What deep pleasure to study the creative work there! I miss you and want you to know I read and value your work Donna. Many blessings and joy to you on this day. February 19, 2018 – Susie

    1. Oh how wonderful to have you visit with other bloggers. And I miss you terribly my friend….it is so special to know you are here with me Susie!

  2. P.S. It’s three hours earlier here in the Pacific Northwest! I’ll be up shortly and meeting with my woman’s group today. You are right about the challenges of this modern life – it can take our best selves to slow way down and fully be in the moment and in our lives. Keep on keepin’ on. You are not alone.

  3. Oh what a wonderful sight it must have been to see all those hummingbirds! What a lovely visit. For me it is the mountains, and I hope that we can eventually move close to them. I often lived in areas where we could see mountains as a kid, which might be why I think of them as more like home.

  4. Oh that’s a new take on the amaryllis, cutting them really short – such a good idea and I am sure they will last just as long as retaining a longer stem. Glad to hear the visit to your brother served a deeper purpose too

  5. How wonderful to see hummingbirds…and now you have shared your skill with your brother, he will start to see not only them but other treasures too.

  6. I understand the pull of the sea. Is it likely you will be able to live close to it? After a lifetime of adjusting to environments not best suited to me I still struggle to order my life in a more comforting fashion now I have the opportunity. You are an inspiration to me.

  7. A very thoughtful post, Donna, as always. How I wish I could get away from the crazy world at times. Might have to await retirement! Lovely vase too. Have a good week 🙂

  8. It’s so great that you could get away and come to California. I had lived 50+ years in Massachusetts before I visited Washington state and realized it was where I felt most at home and should have been living my entire life. We moved here a few years later. We don’t have a lot of butterflies here, but we have loads and loads of hummingbirds (which were lacking on the East Coast). I love them, it was a fine trade-off as far as I’m concerned.

    1. I used to visit my brother when he lived in Washington near Seattle. I loved the many visits we had there and miss it. I can understand why you moved there.

  9. These blooms are a delight and even better that they last a long time. Would you give it the name Zombie though? It would not be my first choice!

  10. The Hippeastrums are beautiful, Donna! I wish my own had lasted a bit longer but they bloomed during our extended warm spell here. I’m planting the bulbs in a protected spot close to the house in the hope they’ll naturalize and, in that semi-protected spot, the blooms will last longer in the future.

    I’m glad you got a chance to visit SoCal to warm up for awhile! Hummers are a daily presence in my garden and I love them, even if they make difficult photographic subjects. Being near water is wonderful, although, funny as it may sound in that I live in view of the ocean, I prefer lakes to open ocean.

    1. Oh how nice to naturalize Hippeastrum….and how wonderful to have those delightful hummers all year round. I miss ours as they will return in May.

  11. Husband was dozing on the patio, I happened to look out as he was woken. A sunbird flew past, very fast, the length of the garden – about level with his waking eyes. What was that!?

  12. Yes, S. California is one of my favorite places to visit, too. And the hummingbirds always amaze me. 🙂 I miss them here for six months out of the year, so it’s such a special treat to see them again when traveling to warmer places. Beautiful vases, too, Donna!

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