“I listen again to the whispering waves,
Music of nature calming and brave.
Its power unknown, its stillness untamed,
Mysterious and magical, a treasure earth claims.”
Excerpt from poem Whispering Waves by Edel T. Copeland
Where is your happy place? The place you feel the most peaceful, the place you dream to be when you’re not, and your heart overflows with contentment when you are?
For me, that is the beach. It always has been. Due to a combination of extremely happy events, I now get to live at the beach full time. It was always my dream, and now it’s a reality, thank the good Lord!
I get so much out of walking the beach, year-round, during the heat of the summer, the briskness of the winter, and every month in between. Here’s probably a partial list of the benefits I get from walking on the beach:
1) I get my steps in. I’ve never been an athlete, but I’ve always understood the importance of getting off my “butt” and being active. Since I have no athletic talent or aspirations, I don’t commit well to sports. I’ve tried yoga, tennis, water and regular aerobics classes and walking on the treadmill, but it’s so easy to blow off if you don’t enjoy it. Or, let’s face it: dread it. Walking the beach is different. I love it. I get there at least four times a week and when I don’t, I miss it. My phone counts my steps and it’s my greatest chance at hitting my step goal.
2) I clear my head. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m that crazy lady walking the beach by herself, talking out loud. Who is she talking to? I can see beach dwellers wondering as they stare at me. When I was younger I would try to disguise my talking out loud with headphones or a phone to my ear. Now, I just let the crazy fly! I’ve reached an age where I can describe talking out loud while walking alone on the beach … “quirky.” Talking out loud helps me come to a conclusion, better than thinking quietly. I sometimes talk about my writing project. Flesh out a character, work out a plot point. Sometimes I pretend like someone is interviewing me about my books and answer imaginary questions. Sometimes the topic that I talk about is something deep-rooted; a problem in my own life that needs to be worked out and I’m the best one to discuss it with.
3) I enjoy the amazing beauty. Everywhere I look is beautiful. My cell phone gallery is filled with gorgeous shots. You can’t help be a great photographer when you have these surroundings to deal with. God created the ocean and the shore, and wow, did He do an awesome job of it! The Psalmists recognized what an amazing treasure the oceans are. It’s wondrous to me that these words were inspired so long ago by the very view I walk by every day. It’s truly miraculous.
Psalm 95:5-6: The sea that he made belongs to him…. Come! Let us worship and bow down!
Psalm 65:5-7: O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.
4) I draw inspiration to write my books. In my introductory post here on Inspy Romance, I shared the story of how I came to write inspirational romance, and how I incorporated my real life love for Pawleys Island, South Carolina to create the books. Grounding my fictional stories in my real-life Happy Place made it easier for me to build a setting that the reader could get enveloped in. My morning beach walks transform into the pages of my story while I share my Happy Place with my readers.
Here’s an example, from my book, Roadtrip to Redemption:
A smile played on her lips as she rounded the side of the house and took in the view she’d been aching to see: the direct access to the ocean. Her heart exploded with joy and she broke into a run toward the water. A path led through a patch of waving sea oats, an oasis of green growth before reaching the clean tan sand. She leaned down to untie her shoes, then kicking them off helter-skelter, and her socks after, she continued her trek to the ocean. When her toes hit the waves, she shivered. June was early for this part of the Atlantic, and it would continue to warm over the coming months of summer. But it was still delicious.
She waded into the water until it reached her knees, then turned and walked the length of two more houses till she reached a twenty-foot line of stacked rocks, a breakwater jetty that on this private beach, had been built every three house-lengths or so, to protect the shoreline from erosion by redirecting the water currents.
Where is your Happy Place? Why do you love it? Leave a comment and I’ll enter you in a drawing for your favorite format of Roadtrip to Redemption (paperback, Kindle or Nook).