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Finding Contentment

Based on an image by Rachel Deeming, for Mackenzie Davis' Photo Prompts Thingo...

By Paul StewartPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 2 min read
Top Story - April 2024
Taken by Rachel Deeming

Peace. The view from their coastal villa brought them peace. From their first visit, that sleepy seaside town had become important to them. It was intertwined into their lives and served as a tranquil bookmark, a serene highlighter for the many difficulties they have experienced throughout their life together.

Majesty. They had spent many hours, quietly marvelling at the natural majesty of the drama unfolding before their eyes. Watching with awe as the tides rolled out and rolled in, as they felt the warmth on their faces as the sun rose, dulling that crisp cool sea breeze, only for the warmth to dissipate gradually as the day moved on. Seagulls mewing and laughing overhead.

Wonder. Throughout their life together, there were many times when they had given way to wondering. Wondering whether the ups really did overshadow and dull out the downs to make it all worthwhile. The sunset over their sleepy coastal getaway always seemed to bring clarity to their minds. The arhythmical lapping of the waves eased them. When together, without distraction, they remembered.

Passion. It was under the sunset that they had lost themselves in the burning throes of passion. As they basked in the heat of the sun and of their flesh. Something about the romance and the mystery of the bigger picture, floored them and they gave way to their needs and desires without worry, concern or hesitation.

Uncertainty. A life worth living is not one without uncertainty. Many of their visits to their coastal retreat were almost overshadowed with the creeping power of uncertainty. That little bit of salt in the air in life, which sullies the sweetness. Before they wed, before they had children, before they retired. They learned, though, that uncertainty can be a gift and a guide.

Grief. Happiness and sadness are two polar opposites in life that we cannot avoid. People come, people go, people live, people die. There have been many times, too many to count, they have come to the edge of the country, to find answers, to find solace in the losses they have endured. To find warmth in the sun as it rises and sets above them, drying their tears and soothing their pains.

Contentment. Often a dirty and negative word, it best describes the feeling of belonging they have to one another. As they lie on the grass, gazing up at the sun as it dances in the sky for them before the curtains close on another day. As the salty sea breeze fills their lungs pleasantly and they embrace. Contentment in one another and the coast that has humbled them throughout their life together.

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor." - Benjamin Franklin


Thanks for reading!

Author's Notes: The image was one by Rachel Deeming that was never used in the end as part of Mackenzie's photo prompt challenge. I have had ideas about writing a story, just a brief micro-type thing about this for a while. When I started writing all seemed to come together. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh and before we get onto the sorry business of promoting other pieces from my collection, visit these two amazing writer's profiles for awesomeness:

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About the Creator

Paul Stewart

Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.

Overflowing in English language torture and word abuse.

"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson

The Accidental Poet - Poetry Collection is now available!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (19)

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  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶about a month ago

    Great Top Story!🤩 I’m way behind the times! I’m so happy you wrote this lovely story for Rachel’s photo! That must cover most of the abandoned photos from Mackenzie’s challenge. So many delightful lines, woven into the beach scene… ‘ The sunset over their sleepy coastal getaway always seemed to bring clarity to their minds. The arhythmical lapping of the waves eased them. When together, without distraction, they remembered.’ Also love Benny Franklin’s saying… so true!😃

  • The Writer about a month ago

    people come, people go nice job

  • D. J. Reddallabout a month ago

    This is a rare and potent synthesis of humility and profundity. Well done!

  • Caroline Janeabout a month ago

    My oh my. What a lot of insight there is in here. So simple, yet properly packing ❤️

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Paul, this was wonderful! Your title, content, quote, and ending were perfectly fit into a beautiful picture of true love and devotion...a reflection into the soul of an intimate relationship that is enviable. Congratulations!

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Congratulations on your top story.

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Congrats on TS Paul. They found their happy place, clearly shown here. Have not seen the photo challenge.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story, yet again!! This read like 7 different yet related prose, that took us on a beautiful journey! Great work, Paul!

  • Silver Serpent Booksabout a month ago

    I really enjoyed reading this. It wandered in such a deliberate, poetic way. Congrats on the Top Story! Well earned!

  • Lindsay Sfaraabout a month ago

    I can't get over the use of description in here Paul. This is outstanding writing!

  • Jay Kantorabout a month ago

    Ps ~ Terrific 'Pish~Piece' ~ In Yiddish it's "Pisch'. Our VillageBucket 'Rachel' has taught me that just, as a 'Goof-Writer,' it was ok to just be me; for better or worse. - My respect to you both -

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    You really set a richer tone with these words in a poetic and thoughtful way here. Congratulations on your top stort

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    Ah very lovely, pal! Gorgeous descriptive language. I’m pleased people are still using those photos!!

  • JBazabout a month ago

    I like your take on the challenge, but I really enjoyed the way you unfolded life in a nutshell. Choices Congratulations

  • Nice treat on the challenge, but thought how can Vocal give a Top Story after four hours? Then they give me one after two hours!!! 😂🤣😂🤣 . Excellent work as always Paul

  • C. Rommial Butlerabout a month ago

    Well-wrought! Franklin also remarked: "Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it." Two sides of the same coin, I suspect. Perhaps a distinction between mere contentment and what the French call ennui...

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    That' was very interesting and informative wonderfull story

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    Wow. That was just a wonderful meditation on a relationship inspired by place. A beautiful tribute to my story. I thank you, my friend. Nice one, chum.

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