Finding a happy place is a personal mission. It should make you feel safe, at peace, tranquil and relaxed. I have a few happy places I physically go to and also close my eyes when i can't get there in person and remember all of the sights and sounds that make me smile before I even know it. One of my favorite places is the ocean. I have found a unique spot in the world that my dog, Tilly, and I can both go together.
As we unpack ourselves from our vehicle, we hear the ocean roaring in the nearby distance. It breathes in the toxins of the world, the stresses of life and breathes out the most pure and welcoming love into the world. It is so refreshing to be a part of nature. And being in nature allows us to let go of the world and relax into the safety of its mesmerizing beauty.
It is important when you go to nature to be prepared. We take along some things to make our journey easier. Water to drink before, during and after our visit to refresh and hydrate our inner selves. A hat to keep away sun stroke. A wind breaker for the cooler winds that sometimes prevail. Snacks to eat to nourish our soul when we take a break and watch the waves. A whistle to call back Tilly when she disappears in the deeper grass. Water shoes because salt water is healing. A bag to collect unwanted ocean trash, plastics and glass. An open mind to listen to the whispers of the wind.
As we start upon our walk, Tilly has already sniffed out every grain of sand within sight of us. We venture through the trees and down toward the lake. The sun is shining warming us as we hear the silence speak to us. Off goes Tilly running for the gentle waves, ready to splash and have some fun. The grasses are wild, tall and bountiful as if grown to feed the Sable Island Horses to keep them through the seasons. I always marvel at how beautiful they are standing there with such presence and honor. The shore is carefully strewn with sea grass in a row stretching as far as I can see. We check for jellyfish in hopes the turtles who come north in summer have food to nourish them.
The seagulls are singing in the sky. The newborn babies are playing chase with each other, scooping and diving with each other as their mother calls from the sandbar. The baby starts to go toward her but then defiantly turns and swoops about. Learning to use one's wings is too much fun to go home yet. The sandbar is full of birds, seagulls, herons and crows, all nestled in. Some drift in the waves while others walk and squawk about, still others are quietly taking in the sights.
As the journey down the lake side continues, we walk along the sandy shores that turn rocky, then grass grows up through the water's edge as the trees shelter the lake. Here the rose bushes are in plenty, both white and pink. Wild roses have such fragrant blissful scent. No man can imitate such scent. We stop to take it all in. To see nature in its natural habitat. It lives, it breathes, it grows, it heals itself and us, it reproduces and comes again.
From spring to fall we watch how nature changes the landscape and its show of beauty with its ever present beauty and color. The flowers bud and burst forth into flower, the grasses grow and feed the wildlife in any weather. And while it rains, we run for cover, but nature stands stills and welcomes it with open arms. Come raindrops and fall upon my petals, nourish me so that I may live again another day. Leaves waving in the wind beckon me to come hither.
Off we are walking again around another bend. The shoreline turns to clay, a soft carpet of mud as we walk and sink down in it. In the distance a big heron takes flight. This is his home that he shares with many wild friends that inhabit this stretch of God's land. We are taken with the wingspan as he heads across water for shelter as he bellows his unhappiness with our interruption of his snacking pleasure.
Clouds float by in an array of shapes and color. The sky is bluer than blue in hues of wondrous color. The sky is full of messages waiting for discovery. Looking up in life will lead you to great discovery. Although you don't need to soar to great heights to experience the miracles of nature.
The current flows faster as we near the mouth of the lake where it meets the ocean. What was a few hours ago covered in water is now barren and showing signs of ripples where water had been. The currents have deepened the water and Tilly knows not to go near it. Although she's a mighty treasurer hunter, she knows the ocean is powerful and she's no match to tempt it.
Coming around the bend, the waves are cresting as the end of the peninsula offers us a sandy shore to regain our feet and replenish. A log to sit and relax is a likely picnic table as we sit and watch the seals bobbing in the ocean. They will not come in but like to watch my furry land seal as she prances up and down the beach occasionally seeing them peeking out. Unsure of what they are she stands at the shore peering outward. She barks not for she knows this is their home, not hers and she must be respectful if she wants to see them from time to time. Seals speak a different language than humans and dogs so innately she knows not to call out to them.
Lunch is served, eaten and cleaned up after, allowing us to hydrate with fruits and snacks we can both share for the trip down the ocean side. We can tell how powerful the tide was by seeing the rips and tears in the ocean bed as we stroll down the shoreline. The waves are crashing inward, cresting and releasing, foaming and retracting.
The sound of rocks tumbling is music to my ears. No wonder the ocean rocks are rounded and smooth. Nature only crafts the best. As minnows get caught on shore between waves, the birds rush in to feed themselves. We continue watching for seals as they follow us down the shoreline. Tilly still checking each pebble and grain of sand, rolling in the sea grass and wading in the coldness of the waves.
While it looks so near, the shoreline takes longer than we thought. Walking on sand takes a bit more effort. It uses more muscles than walking on land. A great way to rehabilitate muscles although it can tire out those weary. And although we never want to leave, time on the sand must be done within reason. Too much sun is not healthy so we head back to our vehicle to hydrate. Sometimes Tilly is lucky to meet other dogs to play with or people who she can befriend.
And when it is time to leave our happy place, we are always assured of finding great treasures along the journey, a mind refreshed, a body soothed into healing. A happy place is like that. It leads you on a path that opens your mind to many wonders, filling your sight with beauty, and giving you scents to relax you. And so the drive home is slow and tranquil as Tilly lays her head on my arm cuddling up after enjoying our happy place that we share. No words need to be expressed as the feeling inside welcomes love to flow between us.
Maria Lisa Polegatto
Sept 11, 2017