SOLC 2018–Day 24: Down By the Bay


March 2018 SOLC–Day 24
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.

The beauty of the pink-tinged horizon tugged me toward the bay. I looked at the clock in the car. I still had time. I turned right to head down to the water for a moment of serenity, to  welcome the day with the sunrise.

When was the last time I did this? I wondered, as I drove. Greeting dawn by the water is a lovely, peaceful way to start the day. With the bay only a mile from home, I used to do it quite frequently. What changed? Why did I stop taking these few extra minutes?


Then I realized what had happened. Last spring a woman died by suicide there. Self-inflected gunshot. A man discovered her body early in the morning. When my husband told me, I remember thinking, “That could have been me finding her.” And then I felt guilty for thinking of myself. I can’t imagine the pain that woman was in and the horror that man experienced when he found her body. But still, I thought about the what ifs and that painful scene stained the place in my mind. Tainted its serenity. I had been back to the park since, but never in the morning.

So yesterday morning, I pulled into the parking lot. Color seeped up from below the horizon, silhouetting tree branches. Ice still covered the water in sheets of white, traversed by occasional rifts and cracks.  On a small open area beneath the bridge, black and white birds paddled and swirled in the current.  It’s a beautiful place.

I thought again about that woman. What drove her to make that desperate, final choice?  Why here? And I thought about that man. How has his life been impacted by that early morning discovery? I thought about all the places we walk through or drive past, oblivious to their physical and emotional history, both distant and more recent. I thought about how I had unconsciously avoided coming to the park in the morning for almost a year, even though I had experienced such quiet joy there so many times.

What’s the heart of this moment? I had hoped writing about it would help me sort through my feelings, but I’m still figuring it out. But stepping out of the car yesterday morning, I made a conscious decision to resume my early morning visits. I will remember the pain of others, but still, I will allow the lure of a pink-tinged sky to pull me down to the water. I will take the time to watch the sunrise, to rejoice in the optimism inherent in dawn. And I will be thankful for the peace and serenity of this beautiful place.


15 thoughts on “SOLC 2018–Day 24: Down By the Bay

  1. paulabourque says:

    I really love this slice so much. There are layers of beauty and pain that co-exist everywhere. Making the mindful choice to focus on the beauty does not mean we disregard the pain, but knowing they both exist makes us more appreciative of the experience. I’m glad you have this beautiful place in your life again.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cindaroo42 says:

    You capture the polarized moods in this poem well- hope with the sunset and sorrow with the loss of a life. Both have such a tug at our heart and your beach has become a symbol for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is beautiful meditation, Molly. I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of self-care, of taking “the time to watch the sunrise, to rejoice in the optimism inherent in dawn.” If we don’t take these necessary steps to sustain ourselves, how can we nurture and sustain others? I’m glad you’re going back to the bay. I know you’ll find peace there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing the reasons behind your reticence of going to this treasured spot. Writing does open a window to our emotions and sense-making of our lives. Again, excellent risk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Dan. Writing both allows and pushes me to sift through and figure things out. I’m always asking myself–why am I writing this? What’s the point? Often my writing is a journey to figuring it out. That didn’t happen quite as clearly this time, but that’s okay. I’m further along in the process than I was before I wrote.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I often don’t know what I think or believe until I start writing. I am working this afternoon on a piece about the Anti-Gun Rally I attended in Portsmouth, NH earlier. I really don’t know where it will go until I start. I rarely, make that never, write with an outline that I’ve written ahead of time.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. jcareyreads says:

    There is so much here. At first I thought it was just a lovely post about starting your day with the sun. I’ve never thought about the stories a place may hold for other people- my own- but not others. I’m glad you wrote about this as a way to sort through your feelings, even if you don’t have it all figured out yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this slice, for attempting to make meaning through your writing. You may not have come to a conclusion here, but I followed you through your emotions and thought processes and found myself thinking, too. I especially liked these lines, “I will remember the pain of others, but still, I will allow the lure of a pink-tinged sky to pull me down to the water.” Yes, we need to be lured through the pain to find beauty and comfort as we continue to live. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh Molly,

    I hear you. You are such an amazing and sensitive person to feel the lady’s pain at ed of her life as well as the gentlemen’s state upon finding her body.

    Molly, I am glad you have decided to confront your conflicted feeling s and reclaim your morning walk on this serene place. Take baby steps, deep breaths and may peace always be with you.



  8. ureadiread says:

    Something about water is so therapeutic–seeing it, hearing it, floating on it or in it. I hope it will work on you to quell the unease and reflect the beauty of the world–just as you say.

    Liked by 1 person

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