Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #2 at Heart and Home: The Ocean

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Hello, and greetings to you all on this second Wednesday Gratitude! I hope you are having a wonderful day, are warm and dry, safe and fed, content and loved! Thank you for stopping by Heart and Home, and for joining the party and sharing the little things that make you happy and make your hearts sing. MckLinky is at the bottom of this post, go ahead and link in!

We took a trip down the coast  to spend some time with my dad. I grew up on the central coast, and the ocean there is not the type that most people typically think of when they think "California beaches." The wind and currents are strong, the waves are rapid and rough. There are rip-tides. The sand dunes bear little resistance to the constant onslaught of wind and water, and as a result they are constantly shifting and moving. As children we were cautioned to stay out of the water, to never turn our backs to the sea, and to stay low behind the sand dunes to stay out of the wind. We built berms to lean against, shoveled holes for fire pits, and stayed bundled up in layers of sweatpants, sweaters and scarves when we went to the beach.

I'm grateful for the days my family spent together on these beaches, huddled together in the wind, sand and sea spray. We'd take long walks along the shore with our pant legs rolled up, get our feet wet, hunt for clams, and eat our picnics to the sound of the pounding surf, next to the warmth of a crackling driftwood fire.

Some days, when it was warmer, I'd find a spot by myself among the sand dunes and lay with my face in the sun, and daydream. Often, I'd feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness as I stared out to the sea and watched my sisters playing together.

I remember the never-ceasing wind and the sand whipping in my face, my tangled hair, and my cold, stiff hands. Usually, we were the only people on the beach and I'd feel small and inconsequential, dwarfed by the vastness of the shore and the sea.

I remember sitting on the dunes and watching the powerful waves with a sense of awe. When I got older, feeling restless and unsure about my future, I would take a book and a sandwich with me to the beach. I thought I might find some answers if I sat awhile and read, and watched the waves. I rarely opened my book, but rather stared out to sea. It was a meditation of sorts, and I always came home feeling better about my life, and more hopeful about my future.

Those beaches are a part of me. The time I spent on them as a child helped turn me into the person I am today. I still have questions, I still get feelings of restlessness and insecurity about my future. I still go down to the ocean to reflect. I almost always come home feeling better about things. I am still in awe, and grateful for the wonder and beauty of the ocean.

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."  Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables

Thank you, my friends for stopping by today. Don't be a lurker, leave a message! I look forward to seeing your Gratitude posts. I'll drop by to see all of you as quickly as I can. I'd love it if you'd spend some time visiting each other, too, and remember to tell your friends about Wednesday Gratitude! See you soon.

Until next time,

I'm  also linking in to Outdoor Wednesday, at A Southern Daydreamer. Thanks Susan!


Kelee Katillac said...

Hi Heidi!

Thanks for sharing your beaches with us! Places hold memories and mystical messages. Glad you have your sacred place!

I appreciate you hosting this party!

love, kelee

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

Hi Heidi,

What a lovely way to show your emotions about the beach! I think we all will see a little of ourselves there, too.

Thank you for hosting! This is a really uplifting event!


Apron Senorita said...

Heidi, the ocean is a special place for me too. I grew up in south Texas where we spent summers and weekends at South Padre Island most of my childhood. My father loved the beach so often we camped out for days. When he passed away a few years ago, he had requested that part of his ashes/remains be spread along the island and in the water. We have beautiful memories of my dad and life as a beach kid. Thank you for sharing your story!

Yoli :)

Debbie said...

I love the Ocean!! Although as I get older I am a little more intimidated by it!!~ We love to go to the Beach...we lived in S. Florida for 9 years and I miss it! Great photos!~

Claudia said...

I'm so sorry that I keep forgetting about your meme! Hopefully, next week I will remember! Big snow storm today and I guess my brain was elsewhere.


Cottage Rose said...

Hello Heidi; What a lovely post, and the photos are so beautiful... I love the Ocean and sound of the waves... I wish I lived closer... I'd go all the time.... thank you for sharing....


Prior said...

What a great idea... reminding us to be grateful. Lezlee

Lori said...

I love the beach!!!! We have a place at Myrtle Beach, SC... We go every weekend in the summer... I love the beach and it was nice to see the west coast beach....

Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments.

Cottage Sisters said...

Thanks Heidi for stopping by my blog. Your post looks like my neck of the woods, are you talking about the Oceano/Pismo Dunes? That is the truth about the wind, it gets crazy here and you can't hunt for clams anymore. Mostly, because it is rare to find them. When I first started visiting here you could walk on the sand and feel them under your feet. Great post! Have a wonderful day.....Denise

My Slice of Heaven said...

Beautiful coastal pictures, I love the pictures with the dunes. You are lucky to have such a special childhood place to visit and reflect on the ups and downs of life. Anita

Curtains In My Tree said...

I love the western ocean also. I remember the first time I went to the northwest coast in Oregon it was june and I was so cold I had gloves on a blanket wrapped around me . not what i was expecting

still love it