Marinlandia: The Sweet Days of September and October

Blessed are those of us who live in Northern California and can truly enjoy the season marked by balmy days characteristic of September and October. This is a sacred time where moods soften after the chill of July and August when the fog and frosty winds inevitably blow in and leave a marked chill in the air. With these offshore winds, now is the time to get out to the beaches and surf and play and take it all in before the winter storms rage… And this year. the oceans, much to the dismay of the fish, are warm, warm enough for a dip…

But let us not forget how magical the beaches are during winter too when the surfers are happiest because the waves pick up and the beaches are blissfully empty. And winter is the time when the most incredible sand dollars litter the shores of The Bay Area beaches.

Here is a poem I wrote about the magic of what is left behind from that amazing ocean that Marin is famous for…..


The act of collecting shells
is transformative

Mesmerized by the
treasures left behind
from the oceans depths
washed up in piles or strewn
across the rising sand
from the trail of the tide
bent over with the sun on my back….

It seems primitive
like a hunter gatherer on a mission
to find the tribal food

I am fed by these underwater gems
rough and washed and shaped by the salty sea
made beautiful with time and
the drench of sunshine
some remind me of fallen angels
some of human anatomy, some of goddesses and mermaids
from long ago who adorned themselves in these
precious jewels from nature

I carry them in my hands,
rub their decadently smooth bodies
and look inside with my eyes and wonder
what might have lived there
homes of the past
caves of a creature long forgotten

These treasures are reminders
dazzling the eyes of onlookers who admire
these simple gems from the sea
draped on the necks and nestled against the hearts
of those who choose to adorn themselves like the gods, goddesses
and mermaids from the past
those who choose to behold the mysterious and sacred
energy of the ocean…


As a photographer, writer, psychotherapist and nature lover, I am passionate about living in Marin County, CA. The perfect home base, Fairfax, CA is where I get out daily on the miles and miles of open space and find inspiration and plot my next journey out of Marin into the world. More about Mary... Mary is a New York Native who has been living in Northern CA for the past 20 years. She is a "Creative Image Photographer" infusing digital images with innovative techniques. Her favorite spot to take photos is muddled amidst the trees of Marin County CA, or in an exotic urban environment near the ocean, under the sky, and completely in awe. Mary's goal is to capture this scenery, to reach into the mystery of life, into the everyday magic, use the light and the dark as guides, delve into the chaos or the quiet and capture and whittle away at these snapshots, without disrupting their original essence, until they come alive and rich with depth and mood. Her mission is to create unique works of art that bring this depth, mystery, upheaval or serenity to people's walls and homes and ultimately that her work becomes a catalyst to help shift onlookers mood and outlook even if for a moment in time. Her work has been described as dreamy, ethereal, mysterious and mythical and yet also simple and straightforward. Currently her photos are on display at Google Headquarters in California.

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