There is something about water and seeing the sky touch the edge of the surface that puts my heart at peace. Maybe it’s the sereneness and the rhythm of the lapping water on the shore, maybe it’s the trees and grass waving at me in such a friendly way. It’s always a song He sings that makes me want to dance on the waves. No matter what I’m dealing with or why I’m there, it calms me like no other place and brings me so much joy. Sometimes, I wish we lived closer to an easily accessible body of water, to just meditate and BE STILL.
Growing up I spent moving summers in Charleston, SC with my sister at our grandparents’ house. We were always either on the lake, in the pool or headed to the beach. Those summers were some of the best times I remember growing up and they got even more fun when Mom and Daddy were there, too. Family days on and in the water- so much laughing and goofing off. Even lounging on the deck with the sun beating down, there was just a peace in the silence. A humming in the air that made me so content. I attribute those early days for my love of the wet blue stuff.
During my freshman orientation at the University of Iowa (Go Hawks!), I walked past a little table in the basement of the Union with pamphlets strewn atop it with pictures of boats on the river. Something about that image made me stop and chat. I nervously attended the informational meeting the first week of classes and decided I had to try this awesome sport- Rowing. Obviously it was much more intense than those beautiful pictures let on, but it was also the hardest I’ve worked and pushed myself in my whole life. No matter how stressful a day at class was, or what practice had in store for me, as soon as my oar splashed backward into the river something clicked and my heart was at peace. It still boggles my mind that amidst all of the craziness and stress a race brought; the intensity and frustration that practice presented- I always felt like I belonged on the water.
No matter where life takes me, or what I’m given to experience, I always seem to find solace and comfort along a shore. It’s as if the waves bring in the happy and carry out everything I need to release. Anything I’m thinking or feeling is just gone, left to dance away to a distant bank. Life is a lot like that too, maybe that’s why it’s so calming and centering. We have to ebb and flow, turn and leap, to learn our way through life.
The most peaceful and picturesque beach I’ve ever been to was Rhossili Bay in Swansea, Wales. Anytime I needed to have some time to myself, I’d take the bus up the shoreline and walk around on that gorgeous sand (if I was lucky enough for it to be low tide). Though, it was always just as centering from that grassy spot (below) where I’d sit and marvel at the beauty before me. There is so much history, possibility and mystery in water – somehow it puts it all in perspective for me.
Even today, when I close my eyes and want to reset, I picture a beach or lakeside spot and breathe. There is absolutely nothing like it. What is it about certain things, that no matter what stage in life, we come back to it. That thing will always be part of who we are and where we feel most comfortable and peaceful- part of what makes us tick?
Where is your peaceful place? Any tips, for this girl, on alternatives?