Success? A Cottage By The Sea

It has been a while since I have been to my cottage by the sea. The cottage is warm and welcoming with a breeze blowing the curtains. In my favorite leather chair by the window lays a book that I didn’t finish, a story of the sea and of great adventures of old. The book, a companion, a friend, a door to walk through, or a page to turn. It lays there waiting just where I left it, waiting for my return. The bookmark still there between the pages where the story was interrupted.

The sun casts shadows on a painting I have been working on. It depicts an old man sitting by a window with his dog sprawled out on his lap. It is painted in browns and sepia. Both dog and man are old and gray, yet the painting reflects a joy, peace, a great friendship, and love, a long life spent together.

This cottage by the sea is a place of refuge and peace, a place of reflection and inspiration. On my journey of life, this place has been a safe haven, a place to rest for a moment. It is a place where there are no goals to meet, no directives to execute and no problems to solve. In my cottage, you will not find any books on success or any books on leadership. This cottage by the sea is my success.

It has been said that it is about the journey, not the destination and perhaps that may be true. But to be here, where there is peace and simplicity, is where life had guided me. Maybe there is a destination to the journey and just maybe it is here in this cottage by the sea. In the end, my quest for success has brought me here.

Success for me is sitting by an open window reading a book, maybe Henry David Thoreau or Emerson. It is a place to take brush in hand and paint the beauty around me or walk along the shore with my dogs. Perhaps it is holding my wife’s hand as the waves roll in and the joy of growing old together. For me, success is a cottage by the sea.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. For me getting my senses filled with wonder from the power and beauty of your words is a big part of my life. Your stories/poems remind of simpler times and happier times and things that could have been but can no longer or no longer be.

  2. I lived on an island once. It was a very difficult time for me personally, but all I had to do was to sit on the beach watching the waves and in a short time, all would be well. There is a remote beach with a cottage out there waiting for us. All we have to do is to find it.

  3. Lovely visual, your words bring me to that embryonic state I feel whenever I am near the lapping waves. Humans were meant to connect with the natural world. IMHO, our bodies and souls crave the simplicity of bare feet in the sand to counter the chaos of our “civilized” world.

    • It is true that the waters calm and heal. I often wonder if people realize what they actually give up in order to chase success. Thank you for your feedback it means a lot to me.

    • I believe more and more people are waking up to this idea. Hoping it is in time to scale back our consumerism and become a more kind, sustainable world.

  4. Love the simplicity of what you consider success to be, Larry. Your message confirm why when I write about success, I include a qualifier – whatever you decide that to be. It’s different for everyone as you beautifully described.

  5. Tranquility is an ever-present inner state that we should always live, or at least occasionally. It is true, however, that often, in everyday life, it seems almost impossible. We need a bit of training to reactivate a natural ability, that we all have, to “re-focus” ourselves and return calm: it is an exercise to be performed alone, when we want, in a quiet and peaceful space that it allows to activate in particular the imaginative faculties of the brain. Images have a fundamental role and an immense effect on the brain: they are its first language and can favor deep transformations in its structure, and consequently in the way we deal with circumstances.

  6. Larry… what a nice and deep article… “It is a place where there are no goals to meet, no directives to execute and no problems to solve”… Yeah… I understand how you feel… or maybe I don’t … I don’t know… but you should see me… Trust me please. I say this from the bottom of my heart… and I won’t put it mildly: Sometimes I am really tired of all the bullshit (some really epic), and the stupidity and cheap meanness in the world. Ken is right… “…it is one’s refuge from the craziness of a world gone mad.”… yes…a private and cozy place to think and forget… away from the shipping lanes… And Jane is right too… “We all need to find that place of solitude and learn to unplug… and reconnect with our souls… if we value our sanity”… – Larry, when you’ve lived intensely, you’ve seen all kinds,
    and “traveled each and every highway”… cynicism isn’t just a pose… But thanks goodness, while I know cynicism is understandable, I never got entangled with it, which brings me to the main paradox, which has been with me throughout my life: sobering up about our intoxicating smallness and maintaining faith in our greatness all at once. This is me. You know Larry, I am looking for peace and simplicity, too. Books about leadership and success??? God forbid… It’s better sipping something in that “cottage by the sea”.. sitting on that “leather chair by the window”… reading something profound and nice… at least that’s how I feel.. and above all loving someone sincerely, and being yourself. Without that… I should very much like to associate myself with the comment made by Chris Pehura… “RELEASE THE KRAKEN”!!! Thank you Larry! Thank you Dennis!

    • Massimo what honest and profound feedback. I am touched by your words. Yes life has been interesting journey for me and has brought me full circle back to knowing what is real,important and meaningful. Thank you for your great insight I am extremely grateful. Funny that you and Cris like released the Crackin KRAKEN. I say that often when we Stumble upon a great idea at work we call it releasing the KRAKEN

    • Larry thank you. Maybe we come from two similar places, in a way, and the long road we have traveled… turned us into what we are now, and gave us a chance to see what’s really important in life. And you are right … sometimes… we can tell ourselves… turn the Kraken loose! Thank you Larry. I’m proud to be your friend. Thank you.

  7. Ah, yes. The cottage may not be a cottage, or even on the beach. But, it is one’s refuge from the craziness of a world gone mad. A place where one can read a book, have a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine. A retreat where the soul can find peace and the mind can wander over pleasant thoughts and memories.

    • Thank you Ken for your poetic response. I agree with you that it could be as simple as sitting under a shade tree drinking Sweet Tea.

    • I was going to add my own comment, but I’m just going to tag along on tis one. We all need to find that place of solitude and learn to unplug. We rarely equate success with disconnecting, but if we value our sanity we will unplug from the media and stop the frenetic notion that we must always be ‘on’. Can we take interlude moments to disconnect from frenzy and reconnect with our souls. We can all relate to, “For me, success is a cottage by the sea.”

    • Thank you for your kind words I am in total agreement with you. On our journey for success if we can’t find tranquil places in our life can we truly Call our self successful