83 – Havens *

Special thanks to Ann-Christine for providing the photos. Ann-Christine is in Sweden and I encourage readers to visit her photography blog Leya: To see a world in a grain of sand. Please tell her I sent you and feel free to comment on her images here. Ann-Christine’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on 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, but 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 one 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 is 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 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 a walk in the woods. A haven can be sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree, relaxing on a deck, reading in your favorite chair, or even a certain room within one’s home.

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 can be a place with an identifiable smell – a room with a scented candle or oil – fresh bread in the kitchen – the smell of the air on the beach – even the musty smell of an old library.

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, playing the piano, and yes – even walking on the beach. Some find their haven when running or during other forms of exercise – so havens are personal.

A haven is a place one’s heart and mind desire. A place where one feels safe and sheltered – a place away from the contradictions of life’s whirlwind.

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.

My wintertime 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.

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 place – this beach – is one of my havens. A place where I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

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147 thoughts on “83 – Havens *”

  1. What a thoughtful post.
    When I get all antsy at home, esp when our boys were small, I would stop and think,Why? Then I realized I had not put on any music…so I guess that is my haven…but my true haven is my faith. Don’t know how I could cope these days without it.

    We have a homeless shelter here, and its called : The Haven of Rest. I know some of the peeps h=who work/volunteer there. Its the best thing to happen to some of our needy folk.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ann-Christine is the perfect choice to support this post. So many of her photos exude peace and stillness. You’ve identified many kinds of haven, quite a few of which I also identify with. A woodland walk, a good book, and a good sing are among them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret,
      I’m very thankful that Ann-Christine agreed to this topic. Yes – her photos are wonderful and provide a sense of calm. Havens are in interesting thought because there are so many examples – plus they can be different for each of us. Cheers to havens!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelia,
      Thank you for the kind words about my writing and Ann-Christine’s photos. Regardless of the topic, I try to provide a sense of calm with hopes of stimulating thoughts along the way – such as you noticing the similarity of two words that only have one letter difference. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. good write up Frank and super stunning shots!

    Appreciate the mention … did you realise there is some other dude using the same name as your blog? I find you through reader by typing in the blog name and got him, that was an interesting episode!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate,
      Glad you enjoyed the writing and Ann-Christine’s photos … and I’m sure one that writing poems may be one of your havens.

      Marc, the host and main writer at Sorryless, occasionally asks me to write something for his blog. (He and I connected on my prior blog.) So you saw my thoughts of correlating those who decided not to vaccinate with other thoughts they believe. Definitely a fun piece to write. Most of the things I post there do not make it here. Thanks for finding me and wondering.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Marina,
      I know how much you love the sea and your walks = especially up the mountain above the city. I can also see the piano as one of your havens – especially in hectic times as you use it with hopes of clearing the mind. Glad you appreciated Ann-Christine’s photos. Yamas!

      Like

  4. I feel Haven in reading this Blog Post!
    Initially i thought there was a spelling mistake and you wanted to write heaven. But, i was wrong and haven is actually a word. Very beautifully expressed and mesmerizing pictures 💗💗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have visited many of the places you mention or rather versions of them but my haven nowadays is simply my mind. I can close my eyes and visit the havens have known in my past and my imagination allows me to walk and to feel and to smell. It is a wonderful world that I have created in the recesses of my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lovely thoughts to start my morning Frank, and as always, Ann-Christine’s images are stunning. I loved Quiall’s comment about closing one’s eyes to revisit all of the havens of the past. Like you, I am fortunate to have the beach close by for a perfect does of nature. Some day, assuming life takes a natural course, I hope to be able to revisit it mentally as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tina,
      I’m glad Ann-Christine and I could get your today off to a good start. Pam’s (Quiall) comment is not only well stated, I wish I would have thought of it! Meanwhile, regarding the beach, you are the lucky one having it so close for so many days of the year. I’m inland, but flock to the beach as a snowbird.

      Like

  7. Life is nothing without a special haven…be it friend, family or pet. Another beautiful post, Frank with equally beautiful images by Ann-Christine. I am really enjoying these wonderful collaborations you’re presenting. Well done. 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must agree with your words…about Life. I have just lost my oldest dog, and 13 years together is not easily wiped away. I am very grateful to be able to work with Frank – so glad you like his collaborations too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I lost my heart dog 16 months ago and it still hurts like the devil ever. single. day. But his life with me (also 13 years) was a haven in and of itself. He taught me so much about the real me and life in general. Those images are just exquisite.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Monika,
      Well stated about havens because not all are places! Glad you enjoyed Ann-Christine’s outstanding photos that help capture this topic. I consider myself lucky to find supportive photographers who trust me enough to share their work with me so I can share it with others. I actually wish I had more photographers, but maybe in time it will happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yet another lovely collaboration with Ann-Christine.
    For me, a haven is a a place to get away from all the “musts” of life. It should be a temporary place because one cannot remain in it forever to truly appreciate returning to it… my humble opinion, of course.
    And I love Loreen McKennitt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      DING DING DING … the bell sounds because you had several thoughts that I wish were mine. Love the idea that haven is a getaway from the musts of life …. that’s brilliant …. but then to follow it with not being able to remain there forever. … and I actually remember that you greatly appreciate Loreena! 🙂 Also, thanks for the kind words about Ann=Christine’s photos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw shucks, Frank!
        That’s what it’s all about – sharing each other’s thoughts brought on by exchanging. I do love Loreena and Ann-Christine’s photos are truly lovely.
        As are you, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. For some of us, Church is a haven. A place, as you said so beautifully, to find rest, peace, security. With its familiar church-y smells of furniture polish, incense, candle wax, and so forth. Lovely walk along the beach this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re right – we all have our own haven…….mine is being creative which I love….painting, writing, blogging – it takes me to another place. Not that I don’t like what surrounds me every day – I’m happy….but I can get away for a while and hang out with my imagination and return to routine refreshed. My haven. Our havens give us a chance to become re-balanced. We all need that! Great post Frank.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      I like your thought about the role of havens in re-balancing life for the individual. Perfect! Blogging also serves as one of my havens … and to think bow the thoughts & posts on this blog are generated at one of my havens. Then again, non-blogging don’t understand how this is a haven for us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A-C’s always lovely photos pair well with your thought on varied havens, Frank. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t feel s/he has a haven to find one and utilize it often. These days we all need somewhere to go to get away and recharge.
    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The word haven is close to me, followed closely by sanctuary. I love that a haven is what I need it to be. The quietude of sitting under a willow tree, the acceptance of a cool creek, or even the small slice of shade outside my front door all become havens, as need be. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “Havens are a chance to close one’s eyes to the world, but not sleep.” I like that, Frank. I love to think of all the different havens and I agree – you have to find your own. Havens became even more important when the pandemic hit hard. Nature, my garden, books and creative rooms – all havens to me. Thank you for a havenly walk!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ann-Christine,
      Thanks for sharing your favorite line in this post. Personally, I like knowing that. Great point about the role of havens during the pandemic – so thanks for sharing your key havens. You got me wondering – I wonder how many people either renewed their relationship with havens during the pandemic …. OR … found a new haven because of the pandemic! Also, comments show that many here enjoy your photos – so thank you for sharing with us here!

      Like

  14. Love the pics, and I already follow Anne-Christine, but I forgot. Thank you for the reminder!
    Sometimes I think blogging is a haven. Sometimes sewing is a haven. (I saw the Judy) Sometimes drawing is a haven. Sometimes walking in the alleys, taking pics of art on garage doors is a haven.
    You are right. It’s a personal thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Although we’ve never met, we’ve got to know each other through blogging – so I can imagine that those are some of your havens. 🙂 …. and yes – I also believe blogging as a haven for me. (although for me, I currently feel so far behind!) Glad you enjoyed Ann-Christine’s images, and she responded to your common, but it probably did show up as a reply to you .

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Each of us needs a haven and I like how you describe the many ways we might have one, though sometimes it is achieved by simply switching off our minds and stilling the chatter in our heads. I always find that climbing ‘my’ hill, where once stood an iron-age fort with 360 degree views, makes my shoulders relax and the weight of the world retreats. Lovely photos from A-C she lives in a beautiful land and her collaborations with you are always interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jude,
      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughtful points about havens. For me, this point by you is perfect: “…. makes my shoulders relax and the weight of the world retreats.” Perfect! …. We must also love the way Ann-Christine linked our two thoughts today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Havens really are a retreat into the mind/body/soul complex. And with the right ingredients and the appropriate focus, they can provide you with so much. From setting the tone for a given day to winding you down last thing at night.

    Lovely captures to go along with your walk, Frank.

    Like

  17. Another great post Frank! And lovely photos Leya! It really goes to show that each of us has our own haven. And for those who don’t, or haven’t discovered theirs, my heart breaks. It is when we have that special place, that we get renewed and find our hope. For me, it’s the beach, as well as several special outdoor areas in my neighborhood. And always in my home, especially with the doors open and the birds singing to me right outside my windows 💚💙🕊

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What stunning photography! Gorgeous! And a lovely piece that really set me to thinking about how my home has been a safe haven for me this past year. No matter how troubling the circumstances, I had everything I needed in my garden, my books and music, and my family. That’s a haven. It’s a wonderful word. I think of havens as places of refuge, and it’s a joy to be able to identify what in my life constitutes that place of peace and safety. Beautiful writing, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed Ann-Christine’s wonderful photos. I wanted to capture that havens are more than a place, and A-C provided a good balance of photos for this walk. We’ve interacted a long-time, so your havens made me smile as I was nodding my head.

      Like

  19. Ann-Christine’s photography and mood creations are invariably beautiful. I could make a haven in either of first or last photos, Frank (but I’d need a big ganzy – jumper, to you 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Like you, my beach is one of my havens, along with my home. When I’m away from home and return, I find myself going down to the beach for a walk first before coming to the condo to settle in, no matter how tired from traveling. Love your words and Ann-Christine’s pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Everyone should have somewhere they consider a place to be their safe haven. Somewhere they don’t have to pretend to be anything they don’t feel they like being at the time. I have to confess, these days with being confined to quarters, it has been difficult to find them. That being said, I am delighted to say that I often find a haven in the music you choose for your pieces. Thank you, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle,
      Thanks for the kind words and support. Love you thought that havens are the place where one doesn’t have to pretend to be anything they don’t feel they like being at the time. A great example of the demands of life. Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy the music I select with each walk. For me, that is an important component of each post, so I take it seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. What a perfect word – haven – and yet it’s not used that often. Your post is a haven of reminders of what places touch our hearts and give us sanctuary (and sanity). My havens are my home, yes, but many similar to yours as well: walking the beach, walking wooded trails, my reading chair, hugging a child or grandchild – an immense haven.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Connie,
      Although I know this is not ideal for everyone but my posting time (1 AM Eastern US) is because I want the post available for the European morning and the North & South American morning. In my opinion, so far so good. Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your havens.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ritva,
      Haven as “a state of mind” is such a wonderful expression, I wish I would have thought of it! Meanwhile, I’m sure you are enjoying your time at your summer haven. 🙂 …. and yes, Leya’s photos beautifully capture what I’ve tried to express.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Firstly, I enjoy Leya’s blog. Her pics are always stunning. I think Haven is a wonderful synonym for cozy, Frank and this post shares that notion very well. AS one of your commenters said that Haven is a state of mind (like Leisure) and that defines cozy as well, since we can’t always “see” cozy. That warm feeling we get from spending time within something defined as cozy is indeed a haven. Well done, and I enjoy you went to this idea of comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

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