A Place of Nourishment

We all need a place where we can go to be reminded that all is well.

When my youngest son was a child we started vacationing in Florida.
We would return to the same place year after year and it became our home away from home for a week or two every winter.

During those first few years, I was so sleep deprived. For me, it was deeply nourishing to arise early in the morning and go for a walk on my own along the beach.

When I got to the end of the beach, I had a practice of stopping and closing my eyes. I would face the gentle warmth of the early morning sun and wait until I felt something shift in me. Occasionally I would step away too soon. I’d shut my eyes again, lift my face to the morning sun and wait until I was filled with its nourishment.

I haven’t visited Florida for many years, but I still draw on the healing power of that place.

Here is a poem that echoes my experience of the ocean.

The Healing Moment by Elizabeth Tarbox

Each day I am newly reminded of my unworthiness—a dozen thoughts misspoken; another day when the good I do falls short of the good that I could do; myriad small interchanges; moments of sharing that strain to the breaking point my desire to be generous, helpful, and kind; months of careful work lost by a moment’s impatience, a careless word.

But when I am here at the edge of creation, breaking with the small tide over the sand, the need to do good rolls away; the question of what is right diminishes to insignificance and is easily borne away by the tiny waves. Here, where no words are spoken, none are misspoken.

I am with the broken stubble of the marsh grass that holds on through the wrecking wind and the burning flood. I am with the grains that mold themselves around everything, accepting even so unworthy a foot as mine, holding and shaping it until it feels that it belongs.

I stand somewhere between truth and vision, and what I don’t know ceases to embarrass me, because what I do know is that the water feels gentle like a lover’s touch, and the sand welcomes it.

What I have done or failed to do has left no noticeable mark on creation. What I do or don’t do is of no moment now. Now I am here and grateful to be touched, calmed, and healed by the immense pattern of the universe.
And when I die, it will be an honor for my blood to return to the sea and my bones to become the sand. Reassured, I am called back to my life, to another day.


Is there a place that nourishes you? A place where you can always find comfort? You hold that place in your heart. Return there whenever you are in need.

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  1. Catriona Sinclair
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jovanna,
    For me there are two such places. One is actually where I live, especially when I get to be there by myself! I find it so freeing to just be, especially when it’s a lovely spring day as today was and I can just putter around, planting things and cutting flowers to bring inside. The other place is Algonquin Park. My family had a cottage there when I was growing up and it has always held wonderful memories for me. We camp there every summer. Gillian has worked there last summer and this one too. Really, anywhere where there is water is pretty good for me! I enjoy your posts very much.

    • Jovanna
      Posted May 31, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Catriona, How beautiful that your home and the land you live on is a place of nourishment for you. And Algonquin…I too love Algonquin. Since we sold our cottage, Algonquin had become my summer sanctuary for a week or so each year. There’s nothing like cool clear water. I love it the Gillian is now working there!

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