I am in Maine for what I will call “slack-tide.”
Time away. In silence.
I traveled just about as far up the Northern Coast of the United States one can travel to ‘get away.’ I am staying at a family cottage that sits on the Atlantic Coast in Delano Cove in pristine solitude.
Time like this doesn’t just happen. Self-Care usually doesn’t. This time was the fruit of generous family, much discussion, coordination and planning on the home front. Our life is deliciously full and time away had impact on all involved.
It was becoming abundantly clear to me that this mama needed to step up and practice a little of that “Self-Care” we understand to be essential to our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. We spend much of our time and resource making sure our families are receiving and doing the things they need and that make them whole – I knew it was time to invest the same for myself.
In previous posts, I have shared that mothers, motherless daughters in particular, could benefit from performing more self-care acts for themselves in ways they wished someone would else would think to do without asking.
Self-Care is personal and Self-Care is universal. Only you know what your soul needs. It’s like the ground plug on an electric cord – you can plug and run items off it all day long, but if there is a power surge, a frayed wire, without a good ground your cord is going to fry.
I could sense my brain was overwhelmed and over-taxed. Been there?
I had so much I wanted to write, read and felt little time to devote to these desires, uninterrupted. I love silence and am one of those people that could easily go a week and not talk to another person. Nature is my church. I knew I wanted to go someplace secluded and commune with Mother Nature in quiet…shhhh.
Friendship, Maine in the winter is that place. Where I am staying faces the water and overlooks a former lobster pound. There are no cars, traffic, sirens, street lights, sounds, planes or other people. I have been in here in the summer, and while it is lovely there is a hum of lobster boats from sunrise to sunset. In the winter, the lobster traps have been removed from the water and I have not seen one boat since arriving. It’s like going on a stage when the audience has left.
The cottage faces the water and you only see water, islands, evergreens, birds, ducks, ice, an ever-changing sky and sparkles. It is winter and it is cold. The highs all week are in the lower 20’s. There is ice piling up along the coast and you can hear the clicks and pops of the ice as they are pushed up top of one another as the tide ebbs and flows.
In Maine, the sky and scenery change every few minutes – sometimes in seconds. The dramatic rise and fall of the tide can be seen like clockwork every six hours in a rise or fall between 8-10 feet of water in and out of the lobster pound each day.
In Maine, one can feel and see the invisible forces that tie us to the universe. You appreciate the push and pull of the moon and sun’s influence over the tides and I swear you can actually not only see but feel as we spin away from the Sun at night and return to her in the morning. Constant reminder of cycles and seasons.
There is this powerful moment during the tidal cycles when water stops ebbing or flowing for what appears to the naked eye just a few minutes, I believe that is called slack water or slack tide. It looks like a period of pause before the tide starts to shift. While there is no visible movement, I am sure there is a lot happening in that moment of pause, rest.
Being witness to that moment is like getting front row seats to the greatest show on earth and the ultimate metaphor for Self-Care. Caring for yourself at that moment where activity (ebbs and flows of life) cease and you can be still, even for a moment to just be. Not do, just be. If the ocean rests every six hours, so can we. Right?
I believe nature is dying (literally) to reflect and teach us how to live better lives in synchronicity, balance. Everything in nature is a lesson for us if we can take the time to touch her, be out in her and pay attention to the lesson’s role-modeled for us day after day, season after season. She is the ultimate mirror of how we are living.
If you want time away, you must make it happen. It is all too easy for life to ebb and flow with no slack water for you. With the risk of sounding cliché, Self-Care doesn’t mean just putting on your oxygen mask first, then children and people around you as you are crashing…. that’s survival at its finest.
This Self-Care is proactive, honoring yourself and doesn’t have to be a big trip away for a week (although I would highly recommend if you can swing it!) it could mean waking up an hour earlier than your home or work to dedicate to doing the things that fill your heart and soul up for you, only you. Not oxygen mask this plane is crashing self-care but life-giving, heart-touching focused prioritized time to fuel you to show up in your life the best you can be. To live your best life.
Coming to Maine solo didn’t start off so peacefully. At 3:30am when I was waiting for my Uber to arrive, I had a mini-panic attack and almost lost my stuff on my husband in our kitchen. I was overwhelmed at the thought of getting in an Uber by myself, navigating the airport, layovers, car rental, trying to get groceries and driving 2 hours in Maine when they were currently under a Winter Storm Warning – alone. Wah.
But a beautiful thing happened. I thought of my 15-year-old daughter getting on an airplane to fly to ENGLAND by herself. Surely, if she could do that, I could handle this! And, then I heard this in my heart, “I choose the experience.” We choose the experience, ya’ll! It could be all that I described above OR it could be a fun adventure where I trusted myself and rather than be afraid I could and would choose excitement, adventure, growth! Count my blessings at the opportunity and carpe diem!
To sit in this big over-sized chair typing on my computer in silence watching the sunset over the evergreens required me to say yes to a challenge and my soul couldn’t be thanking me more.
If you had one hour, one day, one weekend, one week or one month…what would a retreat of your heart and mind include? Dream it, visualize it, manifest it. THAT is some oxygen for your soul!