Thursday, August 9, 2012

To See The Sea

“It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny

to have a taste for collecting shells

than to be born a millionaire."

-          Robert Louis Stevenson

As you may have noticed (from one of my posts about beach walks and another including photos of a mixed media mask on which I wrote these same words), to see the sea is bliss to me.
Communing with the ocean…
viewing its beautiful expanse, strolling along its soothing shores, beachcombing, spotting a whale spouting, an otter floating amidst the kelp or a seal surfing the waves, looking overhead as pelicans glide gracefully across the sky, breathing in the moist, salty air, feeling the cool sea mist on my face and warm grainy sand beneath my feet, listening to the hypnotic sound of breaking waves
…this is, undoubtedly, my favorite source of peace and contemplation as well as an endless source of inspiration. 
It’s so easy, immersed in a busy schedule, to become too preoccupied to allow ourselves ample time for enjoyment of a favorite place, activity or memory that centers us and keeps us grounded.  I used to be quite adept at ignoring the need to center and ground myself!  Weeks passed without any visits to the beach, and beachcombing treasures languished unseen in boxes stored within a closet. 
As I continue to shed neglectful, old habits and focus on improving self care, mindfulness (and more frequent beach visits!), my cherished treasures from the sea are escaping the closet and becoming visual reminders of bliss displayed throughout our home.  I’m discovering how simple it can be to turn a home into a more pleasing haven by paying attention to attractions with positive memories and emotions and displaying tangible associations with these attractions in places where they can be enjoyed.    
Earlier this year, I custom ordered this vintage letterpress drawer repurposed into a display unit by Bluebird Heaven (on Etsy) which hangs in our hallway, its cubbies filled with locally collected “flotsam and jetsam.”

My ever growing sea glass collection, gathered locally over the years, is now stored in jars, catching sunlight on windowsills or in other vessels displayed around our home.  (A mosaic project is waiting in the wings!) 

An old olive dish cradles an assortment of shells and stones I collected one relaxing summer morning while I was enjoying the good fortune of an invitation to visit a friend in the Hamptons, a very fond memory.

A rustic copper bowl, a favorite gift from a best friend, holds shells from a wonderfully memorable trip to Costa Rica many years ago.

Beachcombing fanatic that I am, more shells, driftwood twigs, polished stones, smooth pottery fragments and frosty sea glass are still relegated to a hodgepodge of bowls, baskets and boxes, awaiting creative inspiration and display ideas.  My next project is to fill a new clear lidded wooden shell collection box, a sweet birthday gift from a very dear friend.  Despite my lingering beach "backstock," I’m getting better at honoring the ocean’s significance and influence in my life and drawing upon its positive power.      
What special place, activity or memory speaks to you?  Ocean, forest or woodland, mountain, garden, a city perhaps?  Strolling along a beach, wandering through a forest, exploring a city How are you incorporating your attractions and their positive associations into your daily surroundings?