And It’s Still Alright

Nathaniel Rateliff

Two weeks along, I find myself unable to let go of Valentine’s Day.

Unable to let go of things I love.

Or maybe I’m just more appreciative than usual.

I’m writing this sitting in my backyard in Delray Lakes gazing out over a lake listening to Nathaniel Rateliff sing “And it’s Still Alright” and watching egrets wade into the canal on a beautiful winter day. Florida in February, when it’s right and today is right, can’t be beat.

The song is sad yet hopeful. It’s about the artist burying a friend and losing his wife. Heavy stuff. But it’s still alright. There’s hope in the darkness, there’s a path back from the sadness.

We have it pretty good here in Florida. We have it pretty good here in Delray Beach.

During the hustle and bustle of the week, I can sometimes lose sight of how good.

I sometimes forget to slow down long enough to absorb the sights and the sounds of life in what most people would describe as paradise.
But not this year. This year I am going to appreciate the little things.

A text from a good friend who says she is thinking of me and my family.

A call from a cousin I haven’t spoken to in awhile.

Watching my two dogs sleep and my birds sing (in between making a huge mess).

I scroll through social media and it’s an odd cross between a highlight reel and a hate rally.
People posting pictures of their weekend trips and outings and the usual suspects ranting on the political pages.
Today, I’m turning them both off.

I’m resolved to write more, to read good books, to listen to more great music.
I’m set on more drives on A1A, more trips to parks, more long walks with the love of my life and more time with family and friends.
More meaning. More good times.
Lord willing….it will still be alright.

 

Life Lessons At Gumbo Limbo

Visit Gumbo Limbo to see some leatherbacks.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is one of those local treasures that you may miss if you don’t slow down and visit.
Nestled off of A1A near Red Reef Park in Boca Raton, Gumbo Limbo is beautiful and if you are looking to reconnect to nature and experience a different Boca, this is the place.

We used to go to Gumbo Limbo years ago, when the kids were little or when we had visitors with children. It was a pleasant way to spend a few hours, visiting the marine life, walking the boardwalk and gazing at the marine life in the aquariums.
But we hadn’t been there in years, so we jumped at the chance to go with a friend to witness a sea turtle hatchling release event recently.
It was a blast.
An educational and thrilling blast. We even met founder Gordon Gilbert which was a real honor.

We highly recommend you go if you have an opportunity and we also urge you to get involved if you are so inclined.
Sea turtles are amazing.

There are three types of turtles who hatch on our shores and all three species are in peril.
Loggerheads, leatherbacks and greens nest and hatch here and they face  long odds to live to maturity—about 1,000 to 1. That’s not a typo.

Between predators—foxes, raccoons, birds and sadly people—hatchlings have to cope with pollution, warming sands in Boca (which are creating an astounding 95 percent female population) and natural hazards as they swim miles to their nursery in the Sargasso Sea.

When you attend a sea turtle event you learn these things from a very informative and dedicated marine scientist. You come away from the experience as an advocate. It’s hard not to get caught up in the hatchling’s plight and to draw some parallels to life itself.

Watching the little turtles work their way to the ocean— pushed back by the tide, veering off to the seaweed, wandering toward the artificial light from the Deerfield pier or the cars on A1A is alternately thrilling and sobering.
Thrilling because it’s so beautiful to see these little ones scampering in the sand where if they beat the odds and make it they will spend 20 years at sea before returning to the sand.
And sobering because of those long odds made worse by human pollution such as plastic that they often choke on or get entangled.
It may sound silly but when you see the hatchlings rush to the sea you can’t help but draw a parallel to our own existence.

Life presents so many obstacles,  we’re so fragile and yet life is  immensely beautiful.