Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Blog Index

My Quiet Place

This is where I was born and brought up.  Just around the other side of this inlet is  Collins Cove.  I was born on the ocean and spent my entire youth there, living in the same neighborhood until I married at 21.  It was not a luxury neighborhood by any stretch of the imagination.  Now, though as I look back, it was my foundation in finding peace and quiet at the ocean and then that carried through to even lakes, streams and rivers.  The ocean was where I went as a little girl when things were not good at home.  Back in the 50's and 60's no one worried about you being "at the beach" by yourself.  All the kids were at the beach by themselves.  I'd take my lunch (whatever I could find) a blanket or a towel, I'm a little fuzzy on this, my doll and my radio and I'd walk down the end of my Street, cross over to the park and at the end of the park was a lovely, sandy beach.  I'd set up shop and before to long someone would come along.  We'd stay all day, swim, sleep and build sand castles and no one ever came looking for us.  We stayed for the peace and quiet and just for the sheer joy of being outside and out of the house.  

Actually, it started long before me, this love affair with the ocean.  My Grandfather was from Nova Scotia. His family home sat right on the Atlantic ocean.  He was a long shore fisherman and sometimes would be gone for months at a time.  On one of those trips, his first wife died in childbirth while he was gone.  He had such a hard time reconciling that loss that he left his baby girl with relatives and came to the United States where, at some point, he met my Grandmother., who was also from Nova Scotia but not on the ocean side.  I think though, it was his love of the ocean that landed us so close to it.  We all, with his guidance and my Mother's perseverance, would go to the mud flats when the tide went out and we would all dig for clams...dinner that night would be steamed clams.  Delicious and plentiful. On other occasions, off we all go to the Beverly bridge with our drop lines and fish.  Flounder was abundant in those days...we'd take our catch home, my Grandmother would clean, skin and de-bone it...supper again.  It was a hard life but we never starved..came close a few times but the ocean always gave back.

So now, this lesson of where do we find our quiet place, was so easy for me. It was funny when I started to think about it.  I knew it was water.  Then I pieced it together.  First the ocean, then the lake.  Waterfalls, streams and rivers and ponds.  All connecting me to a calm and spiritual quiet.  When I'm stressed, happy or just need a boost of "everything is o.k."  I head to the water.  I am fortunate that I am surrounded by water, everywhere I go and can easily be at the ocean in 15 minutes.  I have passed my love of the ocean on to my kids and now my grandkids know how to relax and rest on the water.  My son, lives on the ocean, just as I did growing up.  He walks to the beach and he is good at going to give his mind a rest.  Jenna takes to the water whenever she can. Making a point to plan it into her year.  The boys constantly ask, "when can we go to the Maine house"...I spend hours photographing in and around the water.  It is where I can be alone and never be afraid.  It is always fascinating and different.  Places of water are changing constantly so you could go every day and capture a different scene.

So here's how it works...bring a chair, blanket or towel...sit.  Close your eyes for the first few minutes and just feel the warmth.  You will also feel the stress physically lifting off your body and out of your mind.  You will know there is magic in the sound of the ocean lapping on the sand, or waves crashing into boulders and spraying up into the blue sky.  The sound takes you away.  It transforms you into a lighter and easier state of mind.  All is well.  I then gaze out at the diamond's dancing on the ocean, I watch the loons travel by.  In their beauty, they are in no hurry.  Boats sailing along, kids playing in the sand of in the water swimming, without a care in the world.  I smile, knowing that they also found their quiet, peaceful, stress free zone. 

Twenty three years ago we bought a little house on a lake in Maine.  We have added on but not enough to change the basic reasons for why we are there.  It is not the ocean but it feels like it.  It offers all the same low key energy and stress relieving agents as the big blue is my quiet place in any season.  We love it more than any place we go.  When we are alone there, Jim and I, we can hear the quiet.  We can feel the gifts of nature in there natural state.  We know we are in another zone and we are thankful.  We run away to Maine as often as we can.  The kids still come, and now the little guys.  I made a rule when I bought that house and I have only had to state it again maybe twice.  That house is my happy place.  If you are not happy, take it someplace else.  There is also a sign in the Maine house.  A sign that has been there for many years.  It's what makes that house a peaceful and quiet place.  The sign reads KINDNESS MATTERS.  I believe that to be true more today than ever before.  

I wish all of you could come to my Quiet Place...It wouldn't take you long to pull up that chair, take a nap in the hammock or swim in the lake with the know the gifts of the water.  Then when I have to go home, no ocean is just down the street.

 Come and sit awhile on the deck..I have saved this rocking chair for you.  It faces the lake.

A nice way to spend an afternoon.  Pack a lunch and a good book.  Head out into the quiet lake during the week and no need to even drop an anchor. Just shut the engine and drift.  Rest, read, relax and a nap is always a good thing.  Don't forget the might find Loons and eagles and beautiful reef's. 


Even in Maine, the ocean is not far away.  A walk on the beach, gentle waves and seagulls fishing...water is always in my life.

At days end, God paints you a sunset.  He uses his most brilliant crayons.  I can never see this enough. This is the view from my deck at the Maine House.  If it was a clear night you would be looking at Mount Washington and the Presidental mountain impressive sight.

Memories being made, enjoyed and photographed.  The boys on their path to the ocean.  Barefoot and fancy free...Jaxson walks Gracie..she just goes along because she love the ocean also.


You would think that being surrounded by ocean and lake that when I traveled I would go in-land. Sometimes I do.  In the middle of the winter, when I can't see the lake for the frozen ice and snow and when the ocean is whipping the wind so hard, you freeze to death, I head to the Caribbean where I know that the warmth of the sand and sun, with it's lovely aqua water is waiting for me.  For three weeks I find my quiet place again.  It restores me over and over..just with the landing of that plane.  The ocean and lakes fill me up, bring me balance and tell me life is good.  It has always been that way for me.  I am a water girl.  I am an Aquarian...makes perfect sense.

"We are inspired by water — hearing it, smelling it in the air, playing in it, walking next to it, painting it, surfing, swimming or fishing in it, writing about it, photographing it, and creating lasting memories along its edge. Indeed, throughout history, you see our deep connection to water described in art, literature, and poetry. "  

Excerpted from “Blue Mind.”



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (23)

Cheryl, this is pure poetry...your words, the water, the photographs! I'd say, being near the water is perfect! The way you described the quiet water for you, I could describe my love of nature and being in the country the same way. We are each drawn to special places, in special ways, at special times. This is very very beautifully written. One of your best posts!!

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Thanks for taking us back to your childhood days and your quiet place. I feel at peace just looking and reading your words, you're a gifted story teller,Sis!

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterH.S

Your sunset is my favorite just pure silk in that photo. I also loved Nova Scotia when I was there, such a pretty memory of that part of the country. Have a wonderful vacation Cheryl.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Hurst

Ah, I love you, Cheryl. We are so similar in our finding tranquility and calm near water. I grew up on the ocean too and used to go sit in my car and stare at the waves, just looking for an anchor in a chaotic-feeling adolescence. I still travel exclusively to places near water. Your words and photos are exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi

You had me from the word "Collin's Cove"! Enjoyed this story greatly because I've been to many of your quiet spaces throughout the years. Keep sharing your stories, I look forward to them. Love, wendy

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

What a lovely and peaceful post. I already feel the stress leave my shoulders just from reading your post on your love of being around water. I feel much the same way in that being around water always makes me happy and less burdened. That sunset is just gorgeous and I can certainly see why you would enjoy sitting on that deck while the sky is being painted. I hope you are having a wonderful week....

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNanci

Thank you Beverly for your very kind and lovely words. Well, I've never been called a poet before but I'll take whatever I can get. Yes, we do each have our special places and like you just being in nature is soothing. I love that also. Special days, special times, we find what we need, don't we. Once again, your support and lovely comments make me so grateful that we are friends.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

H.S. thank you...someday I would love to take you to the ocean, just as you took me to your magical mountains..I know that is where you find your peace and I totally understand why. There is just something so powerful about nature, whether it's the mountains or the sea...or even just a small patch of green grass.
Thank you for understanding my need to write. I'm always so happy when you visit. xoxo

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Thank you Barbara...I'm so glad you got to visit Nova Scotia. It has it's own unique beauty. The ocean there can be fierce but the big boulders contain it most of the time...Yes, I am ready for some seaside reading and resting.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Oh, Naomi...I love you to Sweet Girl. We are so different in ages but so much the same in how we view life and the world. The ocean is important when we are young...I love that you would go sit in your car to find your peace. Happy I brought a little bit of joy to you this morning.

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Wendy, so nice to see you here. Also nice to know that quietly, in the background you have been reading my stories. It comforts me that you understand of which I speak. We are meshed together like sisters...your support means a lot to me. Yes, good ole Collins Cove and no one to chase us down. Looking back, we had it pretty good. Love you Wendy...xo

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Thank you Nancy...your visit is very special. Yes, we are so fortunate to have our house in Maine and those bright, brilliant sunsets are pretty rare although we get a few each summer. It never gets old and it always amazes me. It makes me know that there is something greater than us in control. The water, all kinds, is just so darn healing...Have a lovely weekend..

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Yes, indeed, we are on the same wavelength, about water, about many things! I have long noticed that so many of my friends and photo buddies seem to have a special affinity for water -- the comments, the images, the blog posts. There is no stopping the wave! We each have our own special take and relationship with water and I just love to read about yours. Your posts are always so personal and deeply felt. And so appreciated. Let our "blue minds" meld!

January 28, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G.

Such a gorgeous set of image, so peaceful! Loving your happy place and words. Have a wonderful weekend, Cheryl.

January 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

Hi Cheryl,
Thank you for taking me on a journey I loved so much. Beautifully written and the images perfect to go with this work of art.
So glad I stopped and had my soul fed.

Happy Weekend.


January 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa RedWillow

Cheryl, I love your story of the water as your quiet place told with such great clarity and richness of detail. And your photographs always bring me into your world which is clearly a place of kindness. So happy for your entire family that they have the Maine house as retreat and refuge. For years I tried meditation and the instructor would often say, "Go to your quiet place, " and truly, I did not have one. Try as I might I could not conjure up any place that made me feel calm and peaceful. Then last year on a photo adventure, I ended up in a most beautiful park set against the mountains, and I found my quiet place - at the edge of the forest in the cool mountain air. Thanks for this lovely story and for your friendship.

January 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

What a beautiful post! I am envious of your happy place in Maine. We went to Maine on our honeymoon and I fell in love with it.

January 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterpam

I think we have much in common. I grew up in Canada and my parents had a second home on Lake Huron. Being on a great lake you can't tell the difference from the ocean it's so vast except there is no salt in the water. When we later moved to the US my father planted us near the ocean. I too have to be close to the water. Although my house is not right on the ocean I am always drawn to it. Whenever I see it and immediate sense of peace and calm comes over me. I live a short drive from Cape Cod Bay in Sandwich where Hubby and I walk the dogs quite often. I work in Plymouth center and am literally on the water. Whenever I see Plymouth Harbor a feeling of coming home washes over me. I love it so much.

And as with you I love to escape to St. Martin. Again on the water. I do however like when we spend time at my daughter and son-in-laws place in Maine, surrounded by the woods and mountains but it is the ocean that always calls to my soul!

January 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

Sherry, we really are and to think we are both posting about it at the same time. There must be something in the water. We are like minded people..
Thank you so much for your lovely comments here and especially on this one. I feel the wave....

February 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Karin thank you for your visit and for this lovely comment. I know you understand. Two souls who hearts belong to Maine...and the nature of water.
Have a beautiful week my friend.

February 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« The Art of Gratitude..Books | Main | Out With the Old...In With the New »