Jordan, The Great Gatsby
I was at the beach a lot this summer. It was definitely my peace. My solitude. But how can a crowded beach give me that quiet, intimate peace I often desire? My mom and I talked about this while taking some of our weekly trips with the boys. She referred to the above quote from The Great Gatsby. We decided that Jordan’s truth above applies to beaches as well.
~Even though there are hundreds of people on the beach, I have my own space. My umbrella, my beach blanket, cooler. For five or six hours, these possessions claim this spot of sand as mine. The constant white noise of the waves crashing and falling against the sand drowns out all those distant conversations. I love it. I can really hear myself think, pray, create new ideas.
~Forty minutes away from my own home is Rhode Island’s shoreline. Sitting on one of Newport’s beaches is wonderful inspiration for me, particularly as I write a scene set in this very town more than two hundred years ago. An old church towers on the horizon. The place is full of history, and I can’t help but drink it in.
~The beach is a great place to people watch. To observe people reacting to each other, and to nature. I love eating a thick slab of cream cheese- drenched zucchini bread under my shady umbrella, all while observing the human race before me. No one knows (or seems to know!) I’m watching. Taking notes. Filing them away for a story.
~The beach is so vast, a place of such beauty, that I can’t help but feel God’s larger presence. Every day the constant, uncontrollable ocean wipes away the mess we've left behind, leaving a smooth, placid, shoreline in its wake. It reminds me of what God has done for us. Wiped away our messes and given us something beautiful--His grace, His love. He is so much bigger than me, bigger than all the people occupying the stretch of shoreline. I sense His greatness, I feel His love. I bask in the intimacy He shares with me.
~What are some of your favorite private spaces in crowded places?