Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Peggy's Cove: A lesson in Quiet

It was quiet.  Punctured only by the occasional conversation carried on the wind and the constant crash of the waves against the rocks. 

We went towards the water, compelled by the rocks and the muddy, narrow path leading towards the water. One jump and then another and then another and we were there. Right on the edge.

6 inches separated me from the Atlantic Ocean. 
It was awesome. In the truest sense of the word. 
I could have stayed for a long time. I breathed in and out with the cadence of the waves, half in awe and half in delight. And then brought back to reality by the giggle of my two year old and the way she followed her uncle like a mountain goat over the rocks. 
The mum in me got nervous and I told him to hold her hand. Always.

It's barren there. Rocks covered with red heather. Little pools of water. And all around you, the ocean. Demanding respect. 

I tore myself away and we walked down to the village. Few words were spoken. We gestured when we wanted to stop and try to capture the scene before us. We wandered through a boathouse filled with old fishing paraphernalia and other interesting stuff like a whale's jaw bone. I wondered what use I would have for a lobster trap and how I would display it. And then I saw the shells, gathered up from the sea. Worth very little to the seller, but worth a great deal for me. I handed over my coins and he wrapped the shells up for me. 

 We followed the twisting road up to the lighthouse and the throngs of people. It is after all one of the most photographed sites in all of Canada. We took some obligatory pictures as well and headed away from the people. 
It was too noisy, too busy. Everyone caught up with too much noise, the bus schedules, the overpriced coffee served at the top, the perfect picture. 

I wanted to capture it all with a film camera. Slow.

We wandered along the rocks, always making our way close to the edge, watching the water hit the rocks and create spray. Our faces were moist. 
I found a house I wanted to live in, a little house by the sea. It's quiet and secluded. Simple and quiet. 

I crave that in my life. 

And so I build it in, one little bit at a time. And I keep my shells close to remind me. 

How To Be Quiet 

1. Take a deep breath. 
No, seriously. It can't always have the sea tang but it can always help. Breathe in and then out slowly to the count of ten. It slows your heart rate down and relaxes your body. 

2. Do the next thing. 
So the house may be a mess, the laundry still needs to be folded and there's other nagging jobs. Just do the next thing: put laundry on, wash the dishes, breathe. Everything will fall into place. 

3. Deliberately slow down. 
Light a candle, put some calming music on, gather your littles or whoever is close to you and hug them.   Take time to figure out the reason why life feels so busy, so noisy. And then scale back. 

4.  Take time to be quiet. 
It may just be a few minutes standing on the back porch, or it may be longer. Leave your phone alone, actually leave all screens alone. Take the few minutes to regroup and then face your lists, your busyness, your day. 

Where is your favorite quiet place? 


  1. Dear Breanne,

    I miss you.



    1. Dear Ashley,


      Love always,


  2. Love your posts, B, and your list here... "Do the next thing" is one of my mantras - it works SO well, doesn't it?! I don't know how many time a day I walk through those first two steps, but could never put it as well as you did. :-)

    Definitely envious of the ocean being so close!!

    1. I'm so glad you like them, Rachelle! Do the next thing has long been one of my mantras! It does work well. =) This was at Peggy's Cove which is over an hour away but totally worth the drive. =)

  3. Beautiful. :-) I love this more than I can say. :-) You described what my heart is doing today: utterly exhausted and worn out, but just doing one thing at a time, one load of laundry, one load of dishes, one hodge-podge meal in the crockpot. :-) I'm getting there. And taking a happy break with cookies, juice and your blog. :-) XO

    1. This made me SO happy to read. You are getting there, hoping for lots of rest and more happy breaks. XO

  4. Beautiful pictures Breanne! Taking a walk down by the ocean was a daily routine for me while living on the Island, it really does slow you and calm you...making it easy to breathe with the waves. What a joy it was to stand and sense God all around me, experiencing him there and then to realize His presence with me in the here and now!

    1. I took all the pictures on my trusty iPhone, thank-you!! I loved what you said about sensing God all around you by the ocean and then realizing His presence in the here and now. So good and so true.

      I did think of you when I was walking along the rocks, Karen. We both love the ocean. It makes me think of the conversation this summer, and your graciousness with us and all the kiddos. =)



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