(From Amtrak Coast Starlight, looking out at the Pacific Ocean, north of Santa Barbara, CA)
I am most at peace around flowing water. I do have to wonder if this evolved from being brought up in a beachside community or, possibly, being raised by an avid surfer. Either way, I can sit alongside a river or overlooking a beach, and watch the water for hours on end. When things are particularly tense in the rest of my life, watching (meditating along with?) this continuous, repetitive, unaltered ebb and flow allows me to truly exhale and let the stress go.
(The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy)
If I had my way, I would never again live more than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean – inhaling the salt air deeply and listening to the waves pound endlessly against the shore is rejuvenating Something about that power, the wind in my hair, and the wild, untamed beauty of the Pacific always sets things right.
Yet, after several years living alongside rivers, I have also come to appreciate the quiet solitude that can be found watching life flow by. The river always provides a cool breeze to soothe one’s brow on a hot day and a stopping place alongside to take in the view (or a jog) downstream or to set up an impromptu picnic at dusk.
(Harbor-side dinner at dusk, Honfleur, France)
When Ailsa posed her Weekly Travel Theme of “Peaceful”, bodies of water on (around/in) which I have traveled – in all moods – and found peace came to mind. Here are some of my favorites.
(Overlooking the Côte d’Azur while driving from Nice to Monaco)
(Sunset at Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica)
(Dusk settles over the Tiber River, Rome, Italy)
(Notre Dame Cathedral and Ile de la Cité as seen from a Seine river cruise, Paris, France)