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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Waves

I take a deep breath and breathe in the smells of the sea.

I close my eyes and listen to the waves crashing.

It's peaceful.  The ocean calms me, centers me. Puts life in perspective.

When I was a teenager, I always wanted to escape to the beach.  Not to party or flirt with boys. But to walk along the shore and have the noise from the waves drown out the noise in my head.

Water gives life.  It heals.  It promises new beginnings.

It was the draw of the sea that caused me to move to this place more than ten years ago. Knowing nothing else about it, but living on an inlet, just a few minutes from the ocean, was a draw for me.

The water has always pulled me, called me.

And led to the life I have now.

When I thought my heart was beyond broken, I came back to the sea to be healed by its waves.  Looking out at its vastness and realizing just how small, how much of a speck my problems were.

The waves rolling in gave me a new hope, a reminder that things are constantly changing.

It was beside the ocean that my husband proposed, starting our life together.

So many memories of the water: both happy and sad, beginnings and endings, but all muted by the sound of the waves, softening the emotions and reminding me that new beginnings are always possible.



Blogger Tracie Nall said...

The beach is a place of deep memories.

My husband proposed to me there too. That is the most precious memory.

March 3, 2011 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger angela said...

I wish so much that we lived closer to water. There's something about a walk on the beach that makes a great day perfect and a bad day a little better.

March 3, 2011 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger kc said...

Beautiful!!! as a water person, I can picture the sound of the waves and am right there with you through every word.

March 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

isn't that so true about the beach? Whenever I walk on the beach I immediately feel calm...
and a beach proposal? how romantic, lucky!

March 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I love the smell of the air at the beach. It makes me happy.

March 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I love the water. There is something healing about being near it.

We don't live close enough to the beach to relax near, but I do get to spend many weekends at the lake.

March 3, 2011 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Life Without Pink said...

Love it...lucky girl to leave so close to the water. I agree its so calming and peaceful :)

March 3, 2011 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I have a similar relationship with the water. It's surrounded me all my life, even though I'm in the midwest. We vacationed in North Carolina growing up, and Nags Head is still my favorite place to simply be.

I have such a connection to water that I picked our new house based on the fact that it faces the subdivisions man made lake. Not at all the same, but it will do. It still holds life and gives a great backdrop for an evening walk.

March 3, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger The No Wonder Mom said...

So needed to hear that after the week I've had. Now I want to head down to the park and sit and listen to the waves crashing up on the rocks. Beautifully written. Thank you. :)

March 3, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I love the beach. Claire keeps asking to go to the beach. We can't go, yet because the beach is covered all in snow.

March 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Oka said...

I miss living near a beach...even as a teenager I was able to appreciate it. It's calming effects on me, it's vastness, it's ability to give life and to take life away...all of it.

March 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Jen Has A Pen said...

This is really beautiful. I agree with you. That sound is amazing. I love that you were proposed to on the beach. Tear. :-)

March 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Isn't it amazing the natural images that reoccur in our lives? I love water, too- especially small lakes or ponds, but I think my central image is lightning.

Water and lightning aren't really the best combination, now that I think of it...

March 3, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I love it! I think that you've done a great job!

I love the beach and listening to the sound of the water as the waves crash. I don't live near the ocean but in Michigan we do have the great lakes and they're pretty close!

March 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Love this! I am posting a movie tomorrow of our weekend at the beach. Hope you'll stop by to check it out.

Carol-the gardener

March 3, 2011 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oddly enough I am not one of those love the ocean so much I wanna live by it people. I love to visit it, but not live near it and I did for several years in my youth. However taking my 30 year old husband one year and seeing HIS face at his first time to the ocean was priceless

March 3, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Stasha said...

I love the ocean. It is soothing to me.

You did great with this Shell! Stop second guessing yourself!

March 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I love the ocean too! Such a beautiful, calming force.

And it is lovely that you can include it in so many memories!! :)

Nice post, Shell!

March 3, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The smell of the forest does that for me.

Beautiful post.

March 3, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Renegades said...

What a way to look at the ocean and it's waves.

I don't live near the ocean but I love the sounds of the ocean.

March 3, 2011 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Beautiful, Shell!

Hurricanes aside, I ♥ the beach. :)

March 3, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger Evonne said...

The beach and the ocean are definitely a magical place.

I love this post!

March 3, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Beautifully written. Love how you used the prompt. Love

March 3, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger The Sisters' Hood said...

Lovely Shell, ebb and flow ... like water :)
We live at the beach, I love it early in the morning, as we walk onto it and we are the only one's there, its like new life to me, a new day ...

March 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger Katie Hurley, LCSW said...

We live near the ocean too (although the Pacific is much larger than Long Island Sound on the CT shore, where I grew up). I always feel the tension melt away the minute I breathe in the ocean air. My kids feel the same way. They can dig in the sand for hours and stand at the edge of the water and throw shells in...it calms them immediately.

I loved this post.

March 3, 2011 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Rathi said...

Water in all its form is just so beautiful. This is a beautiful post. So reminiscing, it helps us to think of the times we shared with the sea.

March 3, 2011 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

So beautiful, Shell. Now I need the ocean....

March 4, 2011 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

This was such a perfect prompt for you this week. I love your writing always. This was exceptionally poignant! Love you Beach Girl!

March 4, 2011 at 5:03 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

Oh Shelll, what a gorgeous post. I feel this way about the ocean too. It has made so many times I my life better as I sorted my feelings. Thanks for sharing that with us. Happy Friday!!!

March 4, 2011 at 5:14 AM  
Blogger Tractor Mom said...

Not a beach lover myself, but give me a good mountain stream and the smell of hemlock and I'm in a big HIGH!

Came by to say that I saw you as spotlight on Theta Mom!! Very well deserved!!!

March 4, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...


Have you posted about Hubs' proposal? I can't remember

March 4, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

Yes, in a parallel universe, I would live on the ocean. Sigh.

March 4, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

I love the ocean and the beach. I've always wanted to live by the ocean. Great writing!

March 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Pamela Gold said...

The ocean is better than therapy. I truly believe that!

March 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

The ocean and beach seem to be therapeutic for many people. There is something about the power of water.

My husband proposed by water too (a lake)

Visiting from RDC

March 4, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

What a beautiful post!

There really is something about the ocean. The fresh salty air for me is one of my favorite smells.

March 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

YES!! This is exactly how I feel and actually is where my post stems from today - that healing quality. The way something so massive reminds you that you are so small. Beautiful

March 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

The sea has always called to me. I still dream of sailing around the world and exploring the mysteries of the deep.

This was beautiful.

March 4, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I have a strong desire to go to the beach now!
Beautifully written

March 4, 2011 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Shell, I love this post so much - I could read it again and again. I'm including it in my MOnster Likes tomorrow.

March 4, 2011 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Oh, great post! I'm so with you on this. I even love the ocean in the winter - when the waves are gray and looming. It just has a way of settling the soul to breathe the ocean and hear the tumbling, angry waters.

March 4, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Making It Work Mom said...

Wonderful writing Shell. I could almost see, hear, and smell the ocean. The water is the perfect place for renewal.

March 4, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

This was a beautifully written post, Shell. I love it. I could see you then (younger you, even though I didn't know her!) and now (although we've yet to meet!) and I could feel it. Beautiful.

March 4, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the same call of the ocean, since I first laid eyes on it. Sadly, my life never led me to life next to it.

You captured the soothing comfort of the ocean perfectly - the peace it can bring.

Thank you.

March 4, 2011 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Shell, this is beautiful. You paint a picture with your words. I have never been to the ocean...someday I hope to experience it's beauty.

March 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your post is so peaceful. You can almost hear the tide rolling in and out in this piece.

March 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous CDG said...

I love reading personal narratives about the ocean. It reminds me to see what's pretty much in front of my face.

I've never lived that far from the coast, but in truth, I'm not drawn to it, or maybe I take it for granted.

I crave the mountains and the forest my sense of place and peace. So much so that I forget that the Atlantic is only twenty five miles away...

Thanks for this!

March 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

reason #6890 why i need to move back to the beach...seriously!

you need to read this book...


March 4, 2011 at 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Sara said...


I absolutely adore the beach. You did a great job with this post of reminding me how important it is in my life as I read about it in YOUR life.

The beach is such a soul place for me. I agree with your it also being a place of healing.

This was lovely post on which to close my day. Thank you:~)

March 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Sonora said...

I'm glad you did this. It is funny because as I was working on my Red Writing Hood post this week, I thought of you and that I hoped you would join in. I have read some of your posts that were more novel like in how you wrote them and I think you have some great talent!
I loved this post. I love the ocean and would live on the beach if I could. I think listening to the waves and smelling the sea air is one of the most calming things ever. I'm glad you have something that can and has healed and calmed you!

March 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

So very true. I've always been drawn to the ocean too. Wish I lived closer to it.

March 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Schwandy (Stephanie) said...

Lovely. I understand that connection to the water as well. It's amazing how we can connect to it and how it can change us.

March 4, 2011 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...


So lovely, Shell. The ocean calms me, too, makes me feel small yet peaceful.

Hubs proposed to me on a helicopter hovering over the ocean and we got married on the beach.

March 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Love time at the ocean. I don't go for the social scene, I go for peace. It's one of the few places I can start relaxing almost instantly. And as I read your piece, I began to do just that....you had me there! :>

March 4, 2011 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Ami said...

I find the ocean to be a transformative force, too. Really enjoyed this glimpse into your life. Thanks for visiting my TRDC post, too!

March 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I feel exactly the same way. Somehow when everything is wrong, the ocean can set it right.

March 4, 2011 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Aw man... I want to live by the ocean (said whining). Great job!

March 4, 2011 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

There is something that draws me to the ocean. The sounds of the water and waves just calms and mellows me, time gets lazy and I relax. I remember when I was about six months pregnant, Nathaniel had been kicking and kicking and kicking everyday all day and when we were at the beach he was pretty mellow the whole time. If Chris got transferred close to the beach instead of the four hours that we are now I would stay here forever and a day.

March 4, 2011 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Terrific Shell!
Encore! Encore!

March 5, 2011 at 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Ilana @ mommyshorts said...

That's a beautiful thought. That the water heels you when hurt and celebrates with you when happy. Well done.

March 5, 2011 at 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I can't imagine not living close to the ocean. It's such a peaceful place and I'm always able to clear my head when I'm there.

visiting from TRDC

March 5, 2011 at 1:22 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

You talked about the sounds of the ocean, it's like a dull roar that vibrates your soul. I forgot about that part. It's wonderful that you live next to it. I've always wanted to, some day.

March 5, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved that ending. This was simple and sweet. Great descriptions of the sea.

March 5, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger TheBabyMammaChronicles said...

Love how you wrote this. The water's always pulled me too

March 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

My favorite part: the recognition that our lives are smaller than the ocean, that our problems compared to the sand were outnumbered, outmatched by the vastness of the water.

LOVED THIS, as I too love the ocean.

March 5, 2011 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

The ocean has played a big part in my life, too, and my husband proposed on the beach as well. Except he's from the prairies and he didn't know about high tide so we ended up with a little less beach than he had planned :)

March 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger {Stephanie}The Drama Mama said...

Yay!! I loved seeing your badge among all the Red Dresses. You really showed me what the beach means to you. I wish everyone were lucky enough to find their perfect place.

--The Drama Mama

March 6, 2011 at 1:30 AM  
Anonymous Yuliya said...

I am right there on the beach with you...except I'm the one flirting with boys ;)

March 6, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

Wow loved this. The ocean calms me in the same way. It is a great place to think and reflect. A place to forget your troubles for a minute or too. You put it in words so much better than I could.

March 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Lydia said...

I really love this because the sea has always done the same for me, given me calmness and a rest. I'm not lucky enough to live by it but that is a dream of mine.

March 6, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

"The waves drown out the noise in my head."

LOVE that. So true. Just left Crayon Wrangler's post about placing her daughter back in the water soon after her birth, to calm her. The ocean must speak to us on a basic level - the sound of the waves repeating the sound of our mother's heart?

I totally get you and this.

March 6, 2011 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger shortmama said...

This is exactly how I feel about the beach...someday I will get out of this desert and be near the beach!

March 6, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful! I couldn't agree more. Water makes me feel the same way! I could never live far from the beach. Never! Great post, girl!

March 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM  

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