a place that calms my soul

I’m currently working on a reflexive journaling project with my students, and part of the journaling experience, as the professor, is to model what I’m teaching. Over the course of the next ten weeks I’ll be posting my entry here. Some of the topics will be general, like today’s, and others might be a little more academic. I invite you to use the prompts. If you’d like to link here and share your thoughts, that would be cool. I think my students would enjoy seeing how others respond, especially as an enjoyable writing exercise (instead of an assignment in a composition course). And so, without further ado, here’s mine:

Write about a place that calms your soul.

I love the beach. As long as I can remember, I’ve been pulled toward the shore.

If I say beach, it calls to mind a number of things — sand, blue skies, the wide open ocean. Maybe images of colorful umbrellas scattered across the sand. While it’s true that all that and more represent the beach, the part that calls to me and calms my soul is the shore.

That fluid place where the land ends and the water begins mesmerizes me. I am most often found sitting right at that line, digging my toes into the loose wet sand and watching my ankles get engulfed by the water as the waves wash over my feet.

It’s probably not an accident that the force behind those waves, the tide, also has a mesmerizing pull. Few things are more spectacular than sitting along the shoreline at night with a full moon.

I love a calm sea. I love a violent sea even more. I love seeing, feeling, and hearing the sounds of the ocean as waves either lap at the shore or crash into it.

If I sit along the shore long enough, I become a part of that rhythm and it is both soothing and calming. It frees me to empty my mind. In those moments I feel closest to all Creation. To God.

Most of my work week is filled with noise. Man-made noises are always assaulting my ears — the constant onslaught of media, the persistent hum of electronics, and my own continuing need to be in front of a class talking take a toll on my ears. When I can get away to the beach, I do.

I can sit and unwind as the waves wash away the noise. It usually just takes an afternoon to hit that re-set button in my mind. Then I’m ready for real refreshment. It puts me in the mood to reflect. It puts me in the mood to pray, and my soul is calmed.


28 thoughts on “a place that calms my soul

  1. I like this post. It sounds like a wonderful place to be. I live on a farm in NE Kansas, so my relaxing time is on a nice semi warm day sitting in the porch swing or glider and reading. Or just enjoying the quiet of country life. The lowing of cattle, the whinny of a horse. At least until the farm traffic and neighbors move about. 🙂

  2. I am also mesmerised by the shoreline. On those rare occasions when we are on a beach, I will always be found walking in the water of the shoreline, watching it unfold before me as I walk. I love the sense of infinity. Being in nature calms me, reconnects me. A couple of hours sitting in the ground, my back against the trunk of an old Oak, the sun warming the air, does as much for my well-being as two weeks on a beach in the south. I close my eyes and listen to the wind in the leaves, feel the sun touch my skin, inhale the rich dark odour of the earth, and let go of the world ‘out there’ for a while. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks.

  3. Lovely blog, have been enjoying exploring. What calms my soul? Walking. A long way. Human touch – a long hug. Anything long really. Must be something there about not rushing…

  4. This may sound crazy, but going to the movie theatre calms my soul. Cineplex means it when they say “Escape With Us”. Sitting in a dark theatre, drink and popcorn in hand, watching some great new movies is my kind of relaxation. Since all phones are off or in flight mode (you get the odd person who doesn’t do this. Believe me, everyone else in the theatre can see you!) I don’t get distracted. I simply focus on the film and come out of the theatre relaxed.

    1. intro to comp — they are keeping a journal to do some free writing. I got a couple of groans, but mostly, I got a lot of enthusiasm — they knew what calms them (whether or not they can go to that place is another issue)

  5. What a great project and a great post. And isn’t it interesting that water is so calming for a lot of us. For me a rain storm is calming. And it an be a crashing rainstorm, but I just love it. I like the house in order (in case we lose power) and then to sit and watch the outside get a good cleansing…warms my heart and soothes my soul. I have slept through many a storm, that’s how calming rain is to me.

    1. Oh my, me too! nothing like a terrific storm. as long as there isn’t damage, of course. when we lived in Miami we would sit on our back porch and watch the storms come in off the Everglades. Spectacular!

  6. Beaches are lovely, and I love them even more in the evenings when I can also gaze up at stars or maybe boats/ships/twinkling city lights in the distance. There’s something about the sound of water. A friend of mine has a water fountain and she says listening to that with closed eyes also gives her peace.

  7. Lovely post maria. I tried to think of where i find calm and yes the ocean is one of thos places but also my garden and the bush and my thoughts. Well maybe i am one lucky girl who can find a calm space anywhere.

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