28 June 2014

a holiday by the sea

picture found at trip advisor
In my early twenties I had saved enough money and time to travel to the East Coast. I had dreamed of fishing boats and lobster traps and long piers, sails, seagulls and salt in the air. Such was my idea of the sea.  Everyone thought I was crazy to want to travel alone, but I wanted the time to walk windy shores, where I wouldn't expect anyone to know me.  I didn't want to take anything or anyone along that would remind of me of home and the life I lived.

I wrote in the new journal I had purchased for the trip:

I shall wander to the sea, and by the sea yet I shall wander.  I will listen to the secrets that the waves call out to me. And I will be changed, forever changed by the mysteries of the waters.  I will finally be who I am meant to be.

Vacation plans take on a life of their own, and hearts create expectations that can rarely be fulfilled.  But for once in my life, in many ways I was not disappointed.  I longed to hear the calling of the waters.  For three weeks, the waters sang.  For three weeks I was free of any sign of home.

I found a waterfall in the middle of a small Maine town.  I was dismayed to find only a trickle of water flowing over the rocks. Passing by later that day, the trickle had expanded a bit, flowing faster and fuller. My motel was only half a block away.  When I woke the next morning, I could hear the song of the water, and  rushed down to check.  The little bit of water had now grown to completely cover the rocks, leaping, dancing and bubbling into the bay.  I sat beside it on a rock, and let the sight and sound empty me of any other thoughts.

Soon I opened my journal to write:

I could stay here forever.  Here I can be whoever I chose. This would be a chance to create myself again..  I would live here by the sea and have friendships with sailors.  When they hauled in their nets I would have a comfy place for them to rest.  Fresh bread and wine, coffee and cookies, flames in the fireplace to chase away any chill in the air.  I would write music and sing them to sleep.  There would always be flowers, their fragrances  fresh and sweet.  Life by the sea has a life of its own.  Morning light would shimmer through lace curtains.   Maybe I would learn to paint expressing myself with colour as well as words, filling journals and sketchbooks.  I would take a  basket down to the waters edge,  picking up shells and beach glass in all the colours of the sea.  I would give them as gifts to my visitors as they departed, as if the tokens could show them the way back.   I would be known simply as “the woman who lives down the lane” and that would be enough.

Closing the journal and taking a last look at the waterfall, I went for a walk down narrow streets dreaming of houses I could own. I  remembered  I had reservations in another town further up the coast. I stopped one more time at the waterfall, then back to the motel to shower and pack.  I grabbed a sandwich and drink for the road.

I am always saying goodbye to my dreams I thought as I drove through the changing colours of the New England autumn.

linking up with friends sharing vacation stories at The High Calling



Ashley said...

Wow, what a beautiful photo and lovely writing. I love the sea as well! Have a fabulous weekend!

Patty Wysong said...

My childhood was spent in Maine, very near a town with a waterfall in it. =]

I could relate to soooo many things in this post. So. many.


Charity Singleton Craig said...

This is beautiful, but also difficult to read. Especially the ending. I found it interesting that you weren't disappointed with the trip . . . until the end. Had you stayed, I'm sure the sea would have become something much different for you. I was intrigued by your desire to become the woman at the end of the lane, too. The anonymity you craved sounds like a key theme on this trip. Thanks for sharing this.

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