Peace & Calm

Where is your place of peace and calm?

Is it a physical place, or a place in your mind? Do you have both?

What does it look like? How does it feel? Can you easily describe it or are you yet to even find it?

What brings me to ask this? Well, you see, I know my place of peace and calm well. It’s a place at the beach in Maine. I’m not sure if it’s the quality of the air, the fact that I have no pressures on me or that time seems to stand beautifully still and be full of all good things when I’m there that I love most about it. It cast its spell on me over 20 years ago. I’m still drawn to go there as often as I am able and I aspire to be able to move there full time when the time is right.

Each time I get in the car to head there, which is about a 90 minute drive from my home, I feel normal, but positive. The further I get away from home (and the endless tasks and to-do’s that stare me bluntly in the face there) and the closer I get to freedom, the better I feel.  It’s like I can feel the weight lifting off and the joy, calm and peace – the freedom I am about to experience – starts to tingle within me. An excitement builds and I am filled with sheer happiness.

It doesn’t matter what I find when I get there, how much work I have to do to set things up, or who will be my neighbors this time. All that matters is that I am there.

The magic doesn’t happen for everyone, that’s why I know it’s MY place of peace and calm. Other people have visited and get stuck on the close proximity of neighbors or the heavy traffic on Route 1 that paralyzes you from getting to places quickly and easily. None of that bothers me. I have no time pressures, no need to rush or go far. I am simply there to experience whatever it is that I feel moved to do in each moment.

This place of peace and calm enables me to find my own inner peace and calm. Together we walk the beach and drink in the ocean air, the sunlight and fall into a meditative space of gratitude for all that we are and all that we have.

I have always found that a strange thing –beaches, I mean. They are sandy and dirty and packed with other people in close proximity to you. It’s hot, you can hear their radios and conversations without trying, get inadvertently sprayed with their aerosol sunscreen (a truly horrible thing, really – no one wants to breathe that much less have SPF 100 cover you floating by when you really wanted SPF 15 and a tan), yet somehow, we all get along and really enjoy our day. The sun, the sea, the air, the sand…really the only element missing is fire to have the whole effect, because the beach chairs are metal and so are the umbrella stands!

Anyway, how do so many people in such close proximity find the ability to get over self-consciousness, lay half naked amongst strangers and even take a nap?! Truly there has to be something magical going on here.

So my magical week or two is up and then I am faced with the return trip. Which is the reverse effect happening to me that I described earlier. The peace and calm and serenity I feel heading there is what I cling to on the way back home to where the bills await, the lawn begs to be mowed, the garbage and other tasks sit staring at me and the call to get back to work is heard so very loudly. I struggle to hold onto the peace and calm and not let the routine demands drag them down. I daydream of my next allotted time to go back and do it all again.

Isn’t that the way of life? We spend so much time on the tasks and demands and so little time on the pleasurable things. Why do we do that to ourselves? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we could all work less and play more?

I watch so many people work themselves into an early grave, and for what?! To not be able to enjoy the years of freedom that should come with retirement and even before that. What is wrong with us that we choose that lifestyle over peace and calm? We should all strive to find both. Life’s too short to not take time to enjoy it with those we love in the places that bring us the most peace and calm.

 I hope you both know and are able to enjoy your place of peace and calm!