Still and Settled Place 13

For those who know me very well will know that I have a long term attachment to the term “Still and Settled Place” I believe there is one of these places for us all. Somewhere that you need to go to when times get hard, when things don’t go quite your way or when you just want some peace or time to reflect on a decision you need to make in your life. Like that moment when you need to decide what you are going to do with your life – do you make that decision to apply for university, if so which course? I mean it’s going to help shape the rest of your life.

I still vividly remember that moment for me. I did just that. I went to my still and settled place. The decision for me was whether I applied to do a degree in nursing, the career that I had always always dreamt of doing or did I change my lifelong plans and apply for a course in sociology which I was loving learning about and was excelling in at college (and eventually got an A in?) An afternoon in my still and settled place and I reflected, felt the sea breeze and followed my heart. I applied, qualified and am a paediatric nurse. My point? Not about the A levels that have just come out, that just happens to be an example I can give about my still and settled place. My point is about finding that place, that place that you just know you can go to no matter what and it will always be the same. It will create a calmness within you that you can’t quite explain or put into words despite the turmoil or chaos you may be experiencing.

My still and settled place is the sea(side). Really it’s the sea. In itself I know that sounds odd, the sea can be rough, crashing, splashing, loud anything but peaceful. It can of course be a brilliant blue, tranquil and very very still. Admittedly in the UK this hardly happens but there is always that chance. But to me none of that matters, it doesn’t matter if it is pouring with rain and the waves are rough and high and its so windy it’s impossible to catch your breath. To be honest the worse the weather the more still and settled inside I can become. I also have no allegiance to any particular seaside. Of course I do like some particular beaches and views and probably one of the most beautiful locations in the world would be standing on the edge of Pendennis Castle overlooking Falmouth Bay in Cornwall. Amazing. Its a 360 degree view of the harbour, sea, land, sky, the world,  and endless dreams. (And the reason Daddy Lloyd and I decided it was the perfect location to get married in).

Since the day we left Harry behind at the hospital I have been wanting to go somewhere. I have had an overwhelming desire to run. Just to run and never stop but I couldn’t decide where to run to. A couple of times I have said to Daddy Lloyd lets just go to the sea, so I can look. But as soon as I said it I answered for him and said no. I was actually scared of visiting my still and settled place. I wasn’t ready to feel the relief the sea and the fresh air gives me, to feel it spread through my veins. I wasn’t ready to feel calm.

This all encompassing grief is hard, and its hitting me in so many deep ways, I never thought anything would be able to knock my own belief that in times of quandary the sea will hold the answer. But yesterday I did it. I went to the sea, I went with no preconceived ideas, I went with no answer wanting to be found, I went not to reflect on the recent weeks or to even feel calm.  I went because my world was so chaotic I needed a break.  And one of my best friends just so happens to live 10 minutes away from Brighton seafront.

And a break it was. B Lloyd loved playing on the beach in the stones that make up Brighton beach. We had an ice cream with a flake and we had a fun day out. I only had a few minutes alone with the sea, looking out into the horizon and it was enough. It was enough for me to know when the time is right, my still and settled place will be there. I needed to know that it would still be the same, everything else around me is so different and I am slowly learning that it will stay different, and that will be ok, but I needed to know this would be the same.

Tonight I frantically had to find a card that Daddy Lloyd sent to me years ago. He was living in the US at the time and found a card entiled That Still and Settled Place. And I needed to read those words again, there was a moment of panic when I couldn’t find it (and my memory box looks like a ransacked bomb right now but I found it) And I want to share the words, they very simply sum up what I have been trying to say through this whole post!

That Still and Settled Place

In that STILL and SETTLED place

There’s nobody but you

You’re where I BREATH my oxygen

You’re where I SEE my view

And When the world feels full of noise

My HEART knows what to do

It finds that STILL and SETTLED place

And DANCES there with YOU

These words are Copyrighted to – The interesting thoughts of Edward Monkton. Thank you Edward Monkton (whoever you are!) your words have always been held in a very special place in my heart.

About louise

One member of Team Lloyd, Sharing our expat tales and adventures, loves photography and capturing "that moment" Currently can be found in the sunshine, Southern California.

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13 thoughts on “Still and Settled Place

  • Mummy Plum

    That’s a lovely poem. I love the words.

    Grief, like the sea, can be so unpredictable. Some days you can feel calm and still, then other days big waves come crashing at you when you least expect it.

    I do so hope you find your still and settled place, maybe it’s not time yet, maybe it’s too early but when you’re ready, you know it’s there for you – I can understand why you went to the sea and why you felt like running away.

    It is so hard to find words to try and give you comfort at this time. It’s strange, we’ve never met, but I do think about you and your situation often, about how cruel life can be sometimes, and wish that things had been different for you.

    *Hugs* x

  • elizabeth

    I read this and just nodded ‘yes’, ‘yes’, ‘yes’ as it evocked such vivid memories of both my love of the sea and the grief I experienced 13 years ago when I had an early miscarriage, which of course is nothing compared to your loss. Peace will return to you. The sea will continue to heal, soothe and inspire when you are ready but there really is no rush or schedules for grief. You are all much in my mind at the moment with love and hugs xx

  • Rachel

    After your comment on my lovely black arches fluffy moth. Thought I must come and see who you are! I am so sorry for your loss. I have not been through the same but have experiences of a couple of much earlier losses. I am not sure if you are aware of this charity (and this may well be too early on for you to look at) but its called with free services of rememberence being held at cathedrals around the country. Secondly, the sea is also my still and settled place, I agree with you so much. I am glad the Brighton rocks provided a break for you. Take a day at a time and be kind to yourselves xx

  • Suzanne Whitton

    What an incredibly moving post Louise. A still and settled place is a beautiful and vital space for us all to find. I am glad you had an opportunity to go there. You have written so beautifully and communicate well the chaos that your mind and heart is in right now. Take care x

  • Ruth

    Such a lovely poem, I’d never heard of it before, thank you for sharing. I’m glad that you went to your still and settled place, and I hope that it will help you with your loss and grieving. I keep thinking about you, and I hope and pray that things will get easier for you over the coming weeks and months. xx

  • Mammasaurus

    I can relate to finding the beach a calming influence, even now as my marriage breaks down I am thinking of moving close to a beach. It’s the walking in such calm surrounding that I find so refreshing on the mind x

    I’m so happy to hear that you are staying strong and positive, I really admire you x