There is an inconspicuous little house on a beach somewhere, in a little town that is known for it’s local vibes as opposed to a tourist feel. It is the getaway for people like me who want the salty sea air and silence. It is the tourist destination for the hermits who don’t like tourists. My home is very busy; hell, my life is very busy- sometimes all you need is a time out in a not-so-far-away place. This has become my haven when the world gets too loud and pushy. I have an escape just a few hours away from my home.
When the world gets too busy, I crave the outdoors; long wooded trails, overhanging trees, the burbling of a river; nature makes me feel like myself again. But sometimes a walk through the woods just isn’t enough when you know you have to come back out again. Sometimes all you want is a reprieve, a quite place where you can turn off your phone if you wish and just curl up with a good book. Sometimes you need to put down your weekend warrior garb, hop in the car and drive off into the sunset for a change of scenery.
I don’t come to the beach as often as I like, but every time I do I can feel my soul coming back to life, waking up from it’s overloaded catatonia. There is something calming about rolling sea waves and light winds, about late night storms and warm blankets. There is something invigorating about combing the beach for sea shells as the puppy chases the sandpipers and sea gulls, or cooking dinner side by side with your partner in crime. There is something healing about hours spent reading books and watching old movies. There is something beautiful in the simplicity of this temporary beach life.
When I was a little kid we used to come to this same beach with my grandparents and all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. We would spend whole weekends here with the gang, and I remember how much I loved it. That was before life and family got so complicated. Now I’m only a few doors down from that old house; and while it’s proximity is comforting, it’s nice to be somewhere a little bit different, a place that has room for new experiences instead of crowding me with old memories and phantoms of my past.
This morning I sit here with a cup of hot coffee, the sun pouring in through the window. It’s quiet as Zach and Link (the dog) are both still sleeping. All that I hear are the comforting clicks from my keyboard. It’s the perfect way to spend the morning. In a few minutes I am sure that they will both be up. We will drink our coffee while we cook breakfast together, dodging popping bacon grease and attempting the master the pancake flip. Then we will grab our sweatshirts and mosey out to the beach for one more lazy walk with the dog before we come back, clean, pack up the car, and make our way back to civilization.
When we get home we will jump back into the fray like we had never left. But my soul will feel lighter, my smile will be broader, the sparkle will be back in my eyes. Because when I escape my regular world, I rediscover myself. I can go back to my life and appreciate the sounds because I have been enveloped by the calming silence.
Until next time, you beautiful place, I will miss you. Because there will always be a next time. This is my safe place, the spot that restores my soul, the calm in the eye of the storm. This is where I remember who I am; and don’t we all need something like that?
What about you, my friends? What is your escape? Is it a place, a thing, an activity? What makes you feel whole in this busy world of ours?