Waves in the snow in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Waves in the glistening snow (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

The landscape is cloaked in an undulating blanket of snow; a frosty ebb and flow of shimmering swells, ripples and waves reaching as far as the eye can see.  A radiant white powder illuminates tree limbs and ordinary structures alike, creating an ephemeral mirage.  The glistening scenery somehow appears warm and inviting as the sun’s reflective rays dance upon its surface.  But one touch tells us this illusion isn’t real; instead we’re engulfed in an icy turf that may remain for some time.  Oddly enough, a walk into this sea of twinkling brilliance temporarily transports me to a place with sea gulls calling overhead and surf crashing against the shore.  Where a warm breeze tickles my face, sand squishes between my toes, and the rich scent of salty air fills my nostrils.

View of the Watch Hill Lighthouse in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

View of the Watch Hill Lighthouse (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Yes, there is something about the energy of the ocean that draws us, recharges us.  It’s powerful stuff.  I’ve always had an inability to live further than driving distance from the ocean, even though visiting isn’t always possible.  Simply having the knowledge that the ocean is within reach somehow soothes my soul.  The ocean is a mistress that never abandons us, instead, all we need to do is summon memories of past visits, and she will drench our senses with imagery that can warm us on the coldest winter day.  Such are my thoughts as I write this, and I thought you might like to join me as I bask in the summer sun . . . if only in our dreams.

Just you and the gulls on Misquamicut beach in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Just you and the gulls on Misquamicut beach (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Living near the the northeast coastline allows many opportunities for visiting the ocean, dependent only upon how far you want to drive. For my locale, the shores of Rhode Island offer the best places for walking, relaxing, sightseeing and delicious food.  If you head up to Westerly, the Misquamicut Beach has miles of beaches to stroll or lounge, and the nearby village of Watch Hill provides walking paths dotted with lovely heirloom homes and glorious views. I recommend you arrive early, as the one lane traffic is tedious and the beaches fill quickly.  And, an early arrival is rewarded with uncluttered views of the surrounding landscape and unencumbered, meditative exploration of the shoreline. (

A dreamy backyard retreat in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

A dreamy backyard retreat (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Nearby Newport, Rhode Island, has multiple inland beaches with calmer surf, yet all are equally pleasant and usually less crowded than Misquamicut.  This is a more formal area, with yachts, mansions and quaint local shops.  If you visit Newport, be sure to try the Cliff Walk (, a 3.5 mile hike that oversees majestic mansions built during the gilded age, incredible lawns and gardens, and breathtaking views of crashing waves below.  I do recommend getting a map, as my first venture resulted in a wrong turn into a very high-gated community, where I’m sure they frown upon peasants in beach attire roaming their privileged streets.  Newport’s divine sea food restaurants shouldn’t be missed either, although you’ll need to bring extra cash (and some stretch pants) if you decide to dine there.

It’s hard to believe for we who endured such a brutal winter, but in only a few more weeks (hopefully!!) the snow will start melting and our grand illusion of frolicking on a balmy ocean shore will be getting that much closer to becoming a reality.  Meanwhile, dream on my friends . . .


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