Our second night in the tent was rough for me. I thought the exhaustion from the day and the sounds of rain would be a perfect mix to get a fantastic night’s sleep but instead it put my paranoia into overdrive. While I love nature and camping, I am terrified of ‘hill people’. Not to be confused with MY Hill people, my sister and her family. No, the hill people I speak of are the hillbilly type wood dwellers who want to chase you through the woods and slaughter you with an ax…the hill people that live purely in my imagination and cheesy horror films. So of course, every time the rain hit the right spot on the ground or the trees rustled or an animal made a sound, I was convinced we were about to die. Needless to say, I did not sleep well. So when Jeremy woke me up on his way to the bathroom and Harper decided she needed to eat, I was fully aware that the chances of me falling back asleep were low. My aching bladder sealed the deal so I got up and I braved the woods to toilets where I spooked a little girl who undoubtedly, thanks to my crazy camp hair, thought I was one of those hill people.
Then, on the way back to our hillside tent something amazing happened…
I saw ocean water! Granted it was in the bay and in the waning moments of high tide, BUT it was the ocean! I had this moment of just pure joy. It’s the same every time I look out at the sea. Even though this was surrounded by trees and in a bay only a couple feet deep, the effect of the crashing waves and that sweet salty scent filling my nose was still as moving as always. It doesn’t hurt that it was right at dawn and I got a little bit of that east coast sunrise. (Seriously add it to your bucket list: Sunrise over the ocean!)
I really don’t know what happened to make me love it so much but the beach has always been a great source of peace for me. It sounds a little bonkers but I have never felt closer to God than when I am standing in front of the ocean. There was a time when I was struggling in my faith and needed a little shove. I remember waking up one morning on vacation and watching the sunrise over the water and just being in awe of the beauty. I know there is a science to the earth and I have heard all the arguments against creationism. But when I look at our earth, I am overwhelmed with it’s beauty. Science has no need for such beauty. We do. It makes us calm and happy and inspiring and I truly believe that God created this beautiful earth and get it to us to take care of and enjoy.
That day, I looked at the vastness of the ocean and the light on the water changing colors as the sun rose. I closed my eyes and listened to the song of the ocean as the waves crash against the earth. In that moment, as the salty air entered my nose and I became very aware of the breath in my body, I felt God. It was like he was saying: “Yup…I did that. I put it here for you to enjoy and take care of for me. If it’s this good here…imagine what it’s like up here in Heaven.” In that moment, I let go of any doubt and surrendered to Him. Naturally, I feel closest to God when I’m walking along the beach. Not that I think he’s not with me everywhere I go…I just get brought back to that awesome moment and that feeling of pure love. Like when you hear ‘your song’ on the radio and you’re reminded of all the reasons you love your SO. Yeah…it’s like that.
I was lucky to get another ocean-side God moment later on at our lunch spot on the way back to Connecticut. If you’ve ever searched for things to do in Maine, you’ve heard about the Lobster Shack. It is nestled on a ledge in Cape Elizabeth near adorable light houses in the quaint town of Two Lights. It’s a patio style eatery surrounded by an incredible array of rockage and ocean. The ambiance is incredibly relaxing and even after hearing it talked up all week, I was still amazed by the beauty. I’m so grateful that my family discovered this place and have added it to their traditional Maine itinerary so that we could join in this year. We took the older kids down to the rocks to climb and shared in their childlike wonder as we explored.
The wood-like groves in the stone made by years of wind and water added to the aesthetics and it was amazing to see the way nature works on the rocks. And then of course there was the vast, sparkling and crashing ocean that causes me such a calming joy.
All in all, I’d have to say that Maine has been added to our list of favorite places to visit. I may not have gotten to lay out on the sand and listen to the sea while the kids splashed and played. (Which it was too cold to do anyway.) But I did get to see the beauty of God’s earth and my favorite ocean. I was meant to be sea people and I’m glad that my spouse and kids have such an admiration for it as well. Someday, we will indulge ourselves and move closer or maybe finally get it together and become RVLifers. Either way, I think all of us can agree that we belong in an area along the water. It’s just what we love, who we are…it calls me!