One of my all-time favourite books is Ann Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea. It is an exquisite read! On a two-week vacation by the sea, Lindbergh, a keen adventurer like her husband Charles, writes thoughtfully about the importance of taking time to listen, see, smell, and taste the life that is unfolding around you. She writes: “This is what one thirsts for, I realize, after the smallness of the day, of work, of details, of intimacy – even of communication, one thirsts for the magnitude and universality of a night full of stars, pouring into one like a fresh tide.”
Of course experiencing the magnitude of nature in all its glory may be easier when you are by the sea, with all of its soul-restoring endless waves, bobbing boats, and fresh-as-linen sea air! I found myself in such a place this week while on a work trip on lovely Vancouver Island.
Wednesday evening, at the end of a long day on the road, I found myself in a quiet, enchanting corner of the island, Cowichan Bay, with its tiny galleries, charming eateries and rainbow-hued houseboats providing a restive place to lay my head for a night. Finding this unexpected place in the off-season, Cowichan Bay was quiet on this evening. All I could hear was crashing ocean waves, the howl of a winter wind, and sailboat lines whistling their own private tune.
After a lovely supper at a local favourite, the Cow Cafe, I walked slowly back to my hotel perched on the ocean and turned in for the night with a good book (my current good, no great, read is Will Schwalbe’s Books for Living). I opened my window overlooking the Salish Sea a crack and I’m so glad I did! The sound of endlessly crashing waves enveloped me as I recalled living by Lake Ontario in a tiny studio apartment perched on the Toronto Beaches boardwalk. I had forgotten what it felt like to slowly fall to sleep to the enchanting sound of waves. Despite the rush of cold ocean air the open window let in, I pulled my covers up to my nose, closed my eyes and listened.
A peace-filled gratitude slowly washed over me “like a fresh tide” for this wonderful Gift From the Sea. This unexpected and appreciated “night full of stars.”