Out and about and the meaning of life…

Happy, relaxed squirrel.
Erna Nixon Park
August 8, 2018

We visited Erna Nixon Park last weekend. We haven’t been there in quite a while. It’s a boardwalk path through some natural Florida landscape. That means scrub, marsh, pines, oaks, vines, and maybe a squirrel.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

Typically, parks like this are well peopled and that equals very little wildlife to be seen. People talk. Loud. Why do they talk on a nature walk? I have no idea. Sometimes people yell. Children yell a lot. And people also like to clomp clomp clomp. Maybe they think there are bears and they’re trying to scare them away.

Leaf fallen onto the boardwalk railing.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 12, 2018

But, despite there being people there when we visited, and they were talking and clomping, we saw quite a few woodpeckers, even a pair of downy, and a blue-gray gnatcatcher chittering away to himself as he went about his business of, apparently, catching gnats.

Pileated Woodpecker
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

I think I’m coming back to something like normal. For so long I’ve struggled. I continued getting out into nature, but only because we were birding (quite amateur-ly). I could be in a very dark place, sobs just below the surface, but once outside, in the park, surrounded by trees, butterflies, dragonflies, water, and animals, hints of smiles filled my head and very often made it all the way to my lips.

Leaves suspended in spider web in corner of boardwalk railing.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

I’m grateful for that. Glad that I was able to get out of myself even for a while.

Upside down woodpecker, probably red-bellied.
Erna Nixon Park, FL
August 8, 2018

But these last few weeks, everything has become brighter. I think I’m actually normal now. Not that there is a normal…not exactly. But I feel what I think should be normal. I don’t wake up sad; I don’t fight off tears all day waiting until nighttime when I can drug myself back to sleep. Nope. I wake up normal. I remember more dreams. I’m somewhat happy most of the time. Sad occasionally. And spend the day doing something. Several somethings. As opposed to sitting around trying to figure out why this world is such a mess. Sure, it’s a mess. But there is good here. And I intend to root it out everywhere I can.

Fallen leaf.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

That’s normal.

Munched on leaf.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

So, let’s try to keep the raging against the dying of the light (democracy, not my life) to a minimum, kept to its place in the grandiose scheme of things.

Bolt sunk into boardwalk railing.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

So, here’s the plan: more blogging. And I have a big schedule for the fall book festival season coming up. I’m getting excited, even though events like these are stressful for introverts like me. But I expect to have a lot of fun. Here’s the line up:

Decatur Book Festival. September 1-2, in Decatur, Georgia, of course.
Space Coast Comic Con, in Cocoa, Florida. September 7-9.
Sirens & Scrolls panel kicking of Brevard County Library Con. September 29.
Florida Writers Conference. October 19-21 in Altamonte Springs, FL. Always a great time.
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. October 25. Not about books, but I’ll be blogging!
Cocoa Village Book Fest. November 3, in Cocoa, Florida.
Miami Book Fair, pending, November 16-18 in downtown Miami, Florida.
Amelia Island Book Festival, pending, February 16, 2019, Fernandina Beach, Florida.

That’s quite a lot of events!

Green leaves in the sunlight.
Erna Nixon Park, Melbourne, FL
August 8, 2018

Come visit me if you’re in those areas at those times! Not only do I have books to sell, but I will have free candy and stickers with bling. BLING!

Shelf fungi. Erna Nixon Park. August 8, 2018

Did I tell you that I’ve got an account at iStock Photo? I’m looking for some other outlet for photography, but it’ll do for now. I mean…other than the stuff I post on social media. The better stuff can be found at my iStock Photo page, though. That’s right, sorry folks, you’re getting the castoffs.

Downy Woodpecker.
Erna Nixon Park, August 8, 2018

But you’re not interested in artsy fartsy anyway, right? Pictures can’t all be “compelling” and “imbued with meaning.” Sometimes it’s just a bird. Nothing wrong with that. Amiright? Of course I am.

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