On a Beach Walk: #60 (Havens)

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

My time on the Alabama coast is not only time away from the multiple blasts of winter, it’s also my time away from the regular routines of daily life at home. A respite from the normal. A time as my alter ego. Sort of a haven – so I wonder about havens.

I grew up near a New Haven, visited another to see Yale University. Even spent a series of days in Grand Haven. The latter that seems to best resemble the meaning of today’s keyword.

Haven – a place of safety – a refuge – a retreat, shelter, or sanctuary – a harbor, oasis, or sanctum.

To some, a library is a haven. Those repositories of information that can bring alive the past or fantasies. The place where one can grow in knowledge. The community resource space that is for everybody. Thinking of all the information available in a college library is a profound thought on its own. Maybe that’s why I stand in awe of the information while within a college library.

To others, home is their haven. A place where they feel the love and safety of family. Home – the place possibly symbolizing the most memories of life. Both leaving home and coming home stir emotions. Home is definitely a haven – but not for everyone.

Havens can be a place to remove oneself from the regular world – a quiet space as a park, a church, a meadow, a library, a beach, or even a room within one’s home. It can be sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree, relaxing on a deck, or reading in your favorite chair.

Havens are a place one relieves stress by seeking tones of harmony and peace. That place away from the negative energies of the world. That place of no anger, no pain, no discord, and no irritation. Havens are a place of content.

Havens are a chance to close one’s eyes to the world, but not sleep. A chance to enjoy the solitude – to decompress – to reflect – to wrap themselves in thoughts of comfort.

Havens can involve an action – reading, writing, listening to music, creating a craft, gardening, meditating, practicing yoga, sitting, sipping tea, and yes – even walking the beach. Some find their haven when running or during other forms of exercise – so havens are personal.

My winter time at the beach is one of my personal havens. I spend much of my time walking and thinking, listening to podcasts, and writing. I see others who find a haven in many hours of fishing. Some sit to talk with others. Some just sit in the chair feeling the warm breezes that deliver comfort to their soul as time passes while seeming to stand still. They may daydream or even fall asleep.

Listening to the sounds of nature is a haven – the sounds of natural silence that are void of the hustle and bustle of daily life. No passing cars or honking horns. Just the sounds of the surf to soothe the soul.

I walk because I get restless sitting. Reading in the bright of day is not easy for me.

I want to use the salty air, the tides, the sun, the clouds, the breezes, the sand, the sounds, and the water to serve as the grains falling in the hourglass of time. This is one of my havens – and walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

74 thoughts on “On a Beach Walk: #60 (Havens)

  1. As you so eloquently point out Frank, many places and even thoughts represent havens. The very word has a calming effect. I too am a sea and sand person , a quiet section of beach, sea birds, a ship on the horizon can be a soothing escape. Beautifully written , enjoyed the link as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Your “haven” post evoked a memory for me, Frank. I am carried back to the Andrew Carnegie library in the little Kansas town where I grew up. An old brick structure with numerous steps to its front door, it housed a world of free treasures for a young and frugal bookworm like I was. It had a unique, somewhat musty, aroma that I still remember with fondness. All the classics were there, like Poe and H.G. Welles, a marvelous stack of old and new science-fiction magazines, and new offerings like “Not As A Stranger” by Morten Thompson. That haven changed my life, much for the better!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You mention Andrew Carnegie. I pass his home daily that’s now The Cooper Hewitt Museum on Fifth Avenue and 91st Street. It’s so beautiful. I like they named a library after him. Sounds as if you’re a reader.

      Did you hear that Jim? It was Mr. C. giving a great, big sigh along with Edgar and Mr. Welles. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Again we have the same tastes in music, Frank. When I lived in Florida, I loved walking the beach. There is such a sense of smallness yet oneness and Solitude, walking through the foamy waves coming in on the beach. A time of Reflection. My soul was sighing the entire time I read your post …. haven. Oh yes, that I must have in my life just to step out of my life and into NOW, leaving all my cares behind. I loved every one of your definitions of haven and absolutely agree. I also would like to add that within a haven, this is where many times the spark of creativity first appears. LOVED this post ….. your energy is like a magnet. Much love to you this day!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • AmyRose,
      Glad you enjoyed the walk and accompanying reflection. Love your addition about creativity. I imagine one of your havens is being out in nature just to get away with your camera … and (of course) sing away!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nature is my main haven, Frank. I have others but it is there that I feel the Higher Connection the strongest. Taking a shower, fyi, is another place believe it or not. Teehee ….. there is something about water ….. I used to “hear” words when I cleaned out kitty litters that had me running for my legal yellow pad. True story. That isn’t happening anymore. Perhaps it was the rush of blood to my head in bending down? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely. You know, I’m a beach haven maven. 🙂 Writing is another haven for me, getting lost in wherever it is I go when I’m in flow.

    I interviewed Loreena several years (and careers) ago. Lovely lady whose work has gone around the world without the support of a music label. Inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post, Frank. I think that the word ‘haven’ only being one letter short of ‘heaven’ is no coincidence. I miss my Umhlanga haven with its friendly lighthouse and beautiful beach. My home is definitely my number one haven and sharing it with hubby makes it even more special. It also houses my piano, so double h(e)avenly. 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can feel the stress fall away just thinking about a wonderful beach walk, Frank. I like the word haven, as well. I think my ultimate haven is our garden. I feel like we can shake off the chaos of the outer world just as soon as I close the gate! And if I can add in some regular beach walks I can work out all sorts of issues and life puzzles. I think that beach time is just perfect for that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Many thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Now why am I not surprised that two of your havens are beach walks and gardening in your urban oasis? 😉 … I couldn’t resist! 🙂


  7. I loved this Frank…from the photo on down, and the comments. I looked up haven; a place of safety or refuge. That’s Central Park early in the morning when I go run. There I’ll be in total darkness, then suddenly it’s light, as if Nature flipped a switch. You penned this so beautifully. 🙂


  8. Good post! Glad to see lots of folks latch on to the haven idea. Havens for me include a power walk & swim at our gym, playing golf alone, riding trains, driving in the American West.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These beach walks are a haven for me. Your prose is so descriptive, I feel like I’m walking along side of you chatting about the topic and excited about the beer we’ll share at the end of the walk. Adding a Loreena McKennitt vid is the cherry on top with a big dollop of tasty whipped cream. 🍒

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Havens, so close to heaven in both word and sentiment. This is a beautiful reflection of the multitude of different havens that there are. You’re right, what makes a haven is so personal but when you’re in it, well, that is a wonderful feeling.


  11. Thanks for the intro to Loreena’s music. It was delightful to listen to while reading your brilliant ideas on haven. Since I’m a cancer i have many, many havens. It goes without saying that the warm sun rays pouring down upon me at the beach is #1.

    But, I do love walks in a garden or park. The quiet sounds of leaves as the wind blows.

    My plus one and I went to the Manhattan Library every weekend when we were dating during high school.
    $.25 cents could get you a full day of knowledge.

    Seriously, one needs a place to gather new energy in order to continue on lives journey.
    I appreciate the beach walks. Thanks for taking me along.


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