Tsunami Birthday Month

Valerie Anne Burns
5 min readOct 2, 2023


Breakwater in Santa Barbara, CA

This photo shows the size of the wave that was roaring towards me a couple weeks back and I had no choice but to stand there as it rushed my way and over my head soaking me from head-to-toe. This experience came on the heels of a few rejections for my manuscript publication (I was so hopeful about that it threw me for a loop especially since 4 different key rejections hit my email within a couple day of one another), and the news that a cracked tooth in the upper front had to be extracted with all that follows totaling $3000. A tooth missing there is pretty damn visible and hopefully I don’t look like a meth head.😗 Things do come in waves and I am ready for a big wave of all good things. If it can come by or near my birthday on September 29th… all the better. My September blog is being published at the 11th hour due to too many distractions.

How does one cope with all the tragedy, insanity, and trouble not only in this country, but the world? I don’t have cable and have met some people that do have cable and keep the news on all day. I wouldn’t survive. I do keep up and watch news clips on Youtube. I’ve always kept up as an activist and environmentalist but it gets crazier by the day. It seems to me that the days when courage, integrity, and honesty were qualities to be admired, have all but been washed away by a tsunami of lies, deceit, violence, and absolute cowardly behavior by public officials. The orange, creepy criminal is calling the shots (putting our democracy at high risk) for most of the GOP/MAGA nuts that sold their souls to the devil. The truth is, it always starts from the top (incl abuse of women trump is notorious for) and trickles down. Lying and fraudulent behavior have become the norm. Where does that leave all of us? Where does it leave women when this culture wreaks of sexual harassment? — Incredulous, angry, and baffled. I’m sorry, but this is my truth during my birthday month and I’m overwhelmed by a tsunami of emotions. What can we do? Number one, vote! It’s more important than ever for women to vote in any and all elections to protect our rights!

We, of course, have to step away to find some beauty and peace in the world. I power walk, walk my cat and smell the roses, sit under my hummingbird feeders, step in grass to ground myself, and read or binge watch a good series for escape. I’ve been power walking every Tuesday morning out at the breakwater here in Santa Barbara on the Mesa for years now. It is a testament to nature because it can be so calm and serene,

(as shown in this photo) but also turbulent and restless. I’ve learned to pay attention to the tide and listen for the waves so I can move out of the way to avoid one that splashes over. I’ve been nailed a few times and gotten wet on the side of my body but nothing too alarming. However, a couple weeks ago was altogether something spectacular. The breakwater is out in the ocean and one side is the bay where all the boats are and the other, open ocean. I saw big splashes as I walked to the end and turned back after stretching. It was a pretty rough day on the ocean. About halfway back, I heard a roaring sound I’d never heard in 5 years and suddenly a high wave comes over rushing right towards me like a speeding train. There was nowhere to go. I braced myself by holding on to the railing and stood as it made itself known by soaking me through. My hair was dripping wet. It was a cleansing alright.

Island of Ischia, Italy

I haven’t had any kind of a break for a year and certainly miss my travel overseas. I’ve always loved traveling in the autumn and celebrate my birthday away from home. Last year, I was in Rome on a writing assignment and spent my birthday there. It was, indeed, a beautiful place to be. I wouldn’t mind being there right now. Oh, how I loved the Amalfi Coast. Staying on the island of Ischia made me feel like Jackie O. There was a simple elegance to everything. There were less tourists than Amalfi of Positano and mostly Italians staying there. I’m going to close my eyes and imagine myself there right now. I’m also going to imagine a new and fabulous trip overseas on the horizon. It’s a big world out there and I’m not getting any younger. ;)

I hope you find respite and enjoy moments of bliss as fall bestows us with its own beauty. Even in CA, the air changes, the nights grow cooler and some leaves actually change color. Fall is my favorite time of year. Have a wonderful beginning to autumn and create wonder.

Keep on swimming through life… as best you can,

Valerie Anne



Valerie Anne Burns

Author of Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Blogger; Breast Cancer Survivor; Hollywood Survivor; Workshop Leader; & Beauty Seeker.