Finding your harbour

‘A harbour, even if it is a little harbour, is a good thing, since adventurers come into it as well as go out, and the life in it grows strong, because it takes something from the world, and has something to give in return.’

-Sarah Orne Jewett, Maine, 1881

This is a favourite quote introduced to me by a thoughtful friend years ago. It resonates with me still. Sometimes you read something and it seems as if it was written expressly for you! I love it, because I have always lived a salty life, and my home is near a small harbour where adventures and adventurers both abound. There are little fishing boats, dive boats, and bushy beach walks. Rock pools are refreshed by each incoming tide, and just wait to be explored. Stingrays swoop and fur seals visit. I can lie in bed and watch the lighthouse beam arc out across the starry night.

But the fathoms run deeper here. I think we all need a hypothetical harbour in our lives, a place to go to even in your mind, which gives you peace. Your happy place, if you will. Some people find this peaceful harbour on a rocky trail, for others it might be a whipping along on a wind-surfer. It could be something as simple as a special spot where you like to sit and read. And, for me, that’s the real beauty of the outdoors. It’s all my harbour. It gives me adventures. I feel more adventurous when I’m out there in it. I can take something from it, and give in return – whether that is planting trees, picking up litter off a beach, or simply introducing someone to their new favourite place.


A special friendship can be the best kind of harbour of all. Whether it’s your partner, or your bestie, or your children, there’s nothing quite like finding solace and rejuvenation in the company of someone who just gets you. And it’s all the better when you’re hiking, riding bikes, surfing, or taking a moonlit dip together out there in the great wide open.

Where’s your harbour? Please share in the comments below.

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  • Astrolabe Sailing
    02/10/2015 at 9:55 pm

    my harbour is Lyttelton harbour.
    It has sandy beaches, islands with fascinating history, friendly hectors Dolphins, a port town with atmosphere and a consistent breeze for sailing.

    When I’m at work I think about my harbour. When I’m on the harbour I feel alive and when I come home again I feel refreshed.

    Lyttelton is my harbour.

    • Michelle
      06/10/2015 at 8:19 am

      Lyttelton is such a beautiful spot. I went kayaking there once, hoping to see some Hector’s dolphins. There are some really lovely walks too 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!