My Quiet Place
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 06:52PM
Cheryl Crotty

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.”



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