Create Sense of Place – Share Your Stories!

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Create Sense of Place – Share Your Stories!
Bioluminescent phytoplankton light up Las Conchas Beach in Rocky Point, Mexico. Source: Jesse Andre

The special moments we experience create a unique sense of place that stay with us throughout our lives. It’s what makes a city, a town or even a park bench have meaning.

As we crossed over into 2017 I was treated to something absolutely amazing that I’d never seen or experienced in my lifetime. It was completely unexpected and I have no idea if I’ll ever experience it again.

I was vacationing on the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico with a group of family and friends where we’d planned five days of fun and relaxation to decompress from the holidays and ring in the New Year. 2016 took me on a ride of highs and lows that left my head spinning, including my mother’s death in February, a blissful summer vacation to the Caribbean, helping a couple of close friends through difficult times, and a handful of other experiences that, well, let’s just lump those into the category of “life lessons.” I’ll spare you the details.

Our family vacations frequently in Rocky Point and I’ve found the beach to be a place of reflection and healing. There, I am able to take time to pause and remember what’s important and return home with a fresh perspective on how I might make positive adjustments in my life. Every once in a while when we visit the beach, particularly in the winter months, nature sends us a special “gift” during our visit, something unusual that we will never forget. In ancient times, people might have referred to these experiences as signs, omens, or some form of divine communication. I’m not sure why this particular phenomenon happened when it did, but the experience absolutely delighted my soul, and for about 30 minutes, I felt like a child again.

Source: Jesse Andre
Source: Jesse Andre

What we encountered was a bioluminescent sea. My daughter and friend of ours had gone down to the water’s edge at night to explore the waves and ponder the stars in the cool, salty air. They soon returned to the house and told all of us to come to the water right away, because we absolutely had to see this. It was nothing short of surreal: the incoming waves sparkled with millions of tiny blue-green lights. A quick Google search revealed these were bioluminescent phytoplankton that had somehow made its way up the gulf to our beach.

Source: Jesse Andre
Source: Jesse Andre

Every time they were jostled or disturbed, they would light up by the thousands. As we kicked and splashed around in the low tide, the sand lit up with each step and the water burst into brilliant neon with every kick and swirl. I’ve been traveling to Rocky Point for nearly 30 years and I’d never seen anything like it. I couldn’t stop playing in the water, and neither could my companions. My jeans were soaked, I was cold, it was dark and late, but I just didn’t care. I couldn’t get enough of it. This was a rare gift at the beautiful place where I come to find healing, and I never wanted to forget it. What a way to ring in 2017.

Source: Jesse Andre
Source: Jesse Andre

This was something I could only experience at the ocean’s edge. We were among a lucky few that night who happened to be at the right place at the right time, including photographer Jesse Andre of Tucson, who was staying a few houses down from us on the beach and captured the amazing photos you see here at about 2:00 a.m. on December 31st. Although My Local News does not publish in Rocky Point, this story illustrates how each of us can convey a unique sense of place through personal storytelling and photography.

Source: Jesse Andre
Source: Jesse Andre

Every community has special treasures and experiences that you can only find there. Whether it’s the people, places, things, art, culture, natural treasures, organizations, groups or businesses, there are so many stories to tell and special moments captured that others will never know about unless we share them. At My Local News we want to hear about your special moments and experiences in your city. What makes your community unique? We love to share your stories, videos and photos. We invite you to register as a contributor and share your stories and photos with us. Or, if you’re intimidated at the thought of writing something compelling, visit our freelancer’s page and hire a writer who can help. If you’re a writer, register with us to let others know you’re available for hire. If you have questions or would like assistance from the team at My Local News, you may write me personally at nancy@mylocalnews.us.

From all of us at My Local News, we wish you a very happy, healthy and brilliant 2017!

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