Friday, 23 September 2011

Completely Content

Earlier this week I gave a talk about my beloved Antiquarian Books and life as a bookseller for some ladies who meet for lunch near Christchurch. Afterwards, I was planning to go shopping in town and head for home. It had been a happy morning. My talk was appreciated and the ladies had been so interesting and friendly over lunch but I felt a little jaded and on a whim, instead of shopping, I turned the car and went instead to nearby Avon beach.
It may not be the most beautiful of English beaches but I have a great affection for it, as it is the place where  the urchins and I have spent many happy hours. I grew up in Buckinhamshire, miles from the sea and when I arrived in Salisbury and found there was a beach only an hour away I was so excited! I have had many wild winter walks and happy, sandy summer picnics there.
This afternoon the beach itself was deserted and the weather blustery and sunny.

I'm happy to watch waves for hours and so I strolled up and down, listening and looking.
It was so mild the wind felt silken agains my arms, contrasted to the sting of sand blown against my legs.
I love details in nature, rather than panoramic views, and there is always so much of beauty to see on a beach. I like to wander slowly looking and waiting for my mind to calm and my senses to take over. I find it takes a while to look and listen properly.

Sea Foam

Great piles of seaweed had been blown up by the recent rough weather but it was fresh enough just to smell of the sea. Oh, how I love that wild, salty smell!
As I walked, taking everything in around me I realised, for that moment, I was perfectly content with who I am and where I was.

Am I not lucky?


  1. Lucky indeed! But the greatest luck of all is to find joy in the commonplace; to appreciate where you are and who you are. I think you've found the handle! Jim

  2. What a glorious day Jane and yes how great it is that you are fully aware of how lucky you are. Your peace of mind cannot be purchased and may life and nature continue to join you as you gently walk through life.

    Thank you and now I must go out and walk in the cold and rain but I shall have peace too and walk with the rhythm of the rain. Thanks for your post
    Helen xx

  3. I have enjoyed reading your post, Jane. I was born in a city on the East Coast of Italy, and I was able to see the Adriatic sea every single day of my life. The smell of the seaweed brought into the city by the wind is something I will never forget.

    I love "your" waves, as they remind me of my first time at the beach, on a really windy day. I was so scared, sat on a little rock, surrounded by the fast moving water...I remimber crying and shaking...

    There is something about the sea... could it be that, like the sky, it gives us a perception of the meaning of the Infinite?

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jane... they are beautiful!


  4. Hello Jane:
    To be at one with yourself is a treasured gift indeed. Many seek this contentment but not everyone finds it so yes, you are lucky to have found this inner peace.

    We too love the sea in all weathers but especially when it is rough. As you say, watching the water ebb and flow gives such a wonderful opportunity for reflection and introspection.

  5. I get the same feeling every time I walk along the Northumbrian coast. I never take it for granted, and often tell myself how fortunate I am that it is only a short drive from where I live.
    I am so glad you enjoyed the time with your thoughts on the beach.
    Such a shame you don't live in our village. The ladies at the WI are looking for a speaker for next month. I feel sure they would love to hear you talk about your Antiquarian books.... I know I would :)
    I hope you have a lovely weekend. Abby xx

  6. I so enjoyed your beautiful post. Winter is my favorite season by the beach. I find it quite therapeutic. Somehow water against land brings things on balance again. Sounds as if you had a successful lecture. It is always nice to have an appreciative acceptance. Have a great weekend. Bonnie

  7. Oh, how I envy you the takes us 3 hours to get to the nearest coast. I have to make do with a lake: it's not the same!

    A lovely post - and, isn't it good to feel content with life?

  8. Thanks for sharing your beloved beach. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend time alone with yourself. I love the sea, too, but I'm in landlocked Wyoming. But I can have a bit of it through posts like yours. Blessings, Diane

  9. I'm looking forward to winter walks along the coast when the crowds have gone home and it's just the cry of the gulls and the smell of the sea. As you say - completely content.

  10. Your lovely thoughts and your pictures of the lonely sea and the sky have inspired me to go down to the sea today: to taste the salt in the air and feel a cleansing breath of calm in the wind.


  11. All my dear Friends (I don't like the word blog-friends!) I've just returned home after having a few hours with my lovely man in Somerset. I always feel a little sad when we part,especially at the moment, as we see so little of each other. However, I have just found all your lovely messages! Thank you so much, we have a happy community and sharing our thoughts and pictures brings me such pleasure. Sorry to reply en masse but I've friends arriving unexpectedly for supper and a family gathering tomorrow (which I need to cook for) but I wanted to say a quick 'thank you' at least. May you all have a happy weekend. Jane x

  12. Salisbury? Christchurch? It sounds like you know some of my favourite places. Contentment indeed which is why I am so happy to be living near a lake.

  13. You are indeed lucky! And you take such lovely pictures of your favourite places. The sea-foam photo is brilliant. Will visit again.

  14. Hello Catherine and LindyLouMac,
    Thank you for visiting.I enjoy sharing places I love and trying to capture their spirit with photographs. Any water is lovely but perhaps, as Jane and Lance say, it is the ebb and flow of waves that make beaches so restful and appealing? Jane x

  15. I think contentment is the best place to be.

    Beautiful pictures, I could almost smell the ozone.
    We had an impromptu beach walk this week at 7a.m Wednesday morning- me and Mark playing hookey from work, alas we should do these mad things more often.

    Did you do the fair at Alderholt?

  16. Hi Elaine,
    Thanks about the photos. I seem to have 'Sea Fever' at the moment and snuck off to Sidmouth on Friday morning and had a quick dip!
    I did have a stall at the fair at Alderholt. It was a brilliant day, so well organised and such lovely people. I'm very keen to do more local, small fairs- they're such fun! Are you planning another sooooon? Jane x