For tonight’s meditation story for sleep, I’ll be taking you through a relaxing visualisation as we walk through the cobbled streets of a small island just off the western coast of France, called Belle Isle en Mer.
It is a beautiful, rocky island where the weather is warm and the breeze is cool… As I tell the sleep meditation story of Belle Isle en Mer, let your eyes fall heavy and your breath soften, as you settle in for a peaceful night’s sleep.
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Want to read along?
Read along with the sleep meditation story, read by Andrew from the Send Me To Sleep Podcast, we hope you enjoy…
You are boarding the ferry that travels to the Island from mainland France.
You’ve decided to take a seat on one of the low wooden benches at the bow of the boat, so that you can watch the island you are traveling to slowly appear from the blue horizon as the ferry moves closer.
The breeze is cool, but not too cool, and there is a steady headwind guiding the boat, as it gently skims across the water.
You gaze down at the water as it moves in frothy swirls against the side of the boat in synchrony with the flock of white gulls circling above.
The breeze is slightly salty and refreshing upon your lips and it catches your clothes every now and then, making them wrap closely around your body.
The boat engines hum reassuringly and provide a calming undertone as the boat proceeds across the water.
There are small groups of people sitting on the neighboring benches, smiling broadly and speaking of the pleasures of the enchanting scene that you all share.
The children’s faces glow with the enjoyment of the boat ride and due to the sunlight that catches their cheeks. They point and laugh and then gaze in stillness, absorbed by the sound of the lapping water.
In time, the engines begin to slow to a fainter hum as port comes into sight.
The captain maneuvers the boat perfectly in the shallower water and docks against the old wooden pier.
Several workers jump onto the pier just as the boat comes to a halt, taking with them coils of thick rope which they wrap around the smooth metal posts that rise from the pier.
A small bridge extends from the side of the boat, allowing the foot passengers to exit, whilst another slowly lowers at the end of the boat to allow the cars it carried across the bay to drive slowly onto the beautiful island.
You can hear the seabirds squawking as they fly overhead, as if they are calling you to the entrance of the rustic village.
Four-story buildings line the cobbled streets, colored in hues of white and cream, punctuated by others painted light pink and crimson yellow. The shutters on the widows vary from mint green to leaf green, whilst some are shades of dark pink.
The rooftops are tiled in cool gray slate, adorned with short round chimney pots that will release plumes of sweet smelling wood smoke when the weather turns cold.
Some of the buildings have small balconies that house collections of potted plants; cascades of begonias, tangerine roses and a variety of culinary herbs. The heady scents hang on the breeze and tantalise your nostrils.
This is a beautiful little village, bursting with colour, aromas and the energy of its people.
The village is situated in a rocky cove overlooking the sea.
As you turn to look out onto the turquoise water, and across the marina full of small fishing boats, you see the sprawling nature of the island.
Golden and green hues of tall grasses stretch across the rocky shore and strong cedar trees thrive alongside shorter trees that have been restricted in their growth due to the often high winds driving in from the bay.
You walk further into the village and see bicycles, scooters and small motorcycles parked up outside the various places to dine.
Large awnings shade groups of people seated at ornate tables that overflow with jugs of sparkling water and platters of mouth watering food.
You pass by local shops brimming with one of a kind paintings; watercolours of the sea scapes and pastels of the olive coloured hills and golden grasses, exhibiting their beauty through the wide windows and enticing people to enter the galleries to see more.
You take time to enjoy the simple geometric shapes of the architecture and the dance of the soft, white curtains that move in the breeze.
As you pass by a busy crepe shop you can smell the aroma of melted chocolate and fresh crepe batter sizzling on the skillet.
People close their eyes momentarily as they take mouthfuls of the specialty; stuffed with delicious varieties of sweet and savoury ingredients.
You will stop by another time to indulge a crepe, or two, but for now you want to walk along the nature footpaths nearby, as you continue exploring this beautiful island.
As you walk away from the centre of the village, you find several footpaths winding through the tall grasses that lead to various nature areas, ruins, or beautiful secluded coves with turquoise waters and sandy beaches.
You decide to take the path that leads to the cliffside, to witness the beautiful sights of the windswept, jagged rock formations towering from the sea below, painted by Claude Monet many years ago.
You walk along the beige pebbled footpath that so many people before you have walked and notice the low growing plants that weave along the grass line, sage green leaves with delicate purple petals.
Smoothed rocks lend themselves as escalating steps that take you up the cliffside, and as you climb, the cobalt blue horizon of the bay peeks over the hillside to greet you once more.
The sea hisses and splashes below you and then echoes in the small cool caves that have been carved into this landscape by the crashing waves for thousands of years.
You finally arrive at the very viewpoint where Monet once perched his canvas…….It is spectacular.
More than a dozen jagged rocks congregate in the sea, substantial at their base and then narrowing to treacherous peaks.
No two are the same, each striking a unique pose within the bay.
From your vantage point, high above sea level, you are gazing down on these magnificent structures, their tops not even crossing the horizon line where the ocean meets the sky.
Due to the writhing, deep sea and the harsh winds that spiral around the rocks, barely any plant life is able to grow; just dark green blankets of soft wet moss amongst the barnacles and clams.
You linger to watch the sunset turn the ocean pink and the sky violet, soaking up this moment and safely storing the smells, sounds and images to memory.
The sunset is growing into darkness and it is time for you to wind your way to your hotel.
You take one last lingering look at this beautiful scene, thankful for its life affirming beauty that has touched your soul.
As you walk back along the same footpath, the sounds of the ocean gently fade away, until all you can hear are your own footsteps eagerly taking you to the hotel that offers a crackling fire and a good night’s sleep.
The sky is turning light orange as the sun dips as the velvet night draws in.
The footpath bends into a narrow road, you pass by more of the coloured houses, soft peach glows emitting from the shuttered windows.
Magnificent cedar trees line your path, roses bloom heavy with scent, honeysuckle weaves through vines that trellis the lush gardens.
As you make your way back to the marina the streets become paved and lit by ornate lamps.
You are enjoying every step you take back to your hotel, anticipating your arrival but glowing in the peaceful splendor of the hours spent exploring the island.
The sky is becoming dark, but the moon is almost full, bathing everything around you in its soft glow.
A gentle light emits from a building that is drawing closer, there are red awnings over the windows and a small sign that reads ‘L’hotel de Belle’.
Your hotel awaits you, and you smile in anticipation, ready for rest after this long, warm, beautiful day.
The hotel’s old door is painted in a creamy green, the window panes look like the surface of water.
You grasp the brass handle and it is cool in your hand. The door opens effortlessly, welcoming you, as it has welcomed many others before you.
The French proprietor greets you with ‘bonjour’ as he holds his arms aloft in a kindly greeting. You are warmly received and given all the information you will need to make your stay a happy and comfortable one.
He hands you a heavy key engraved with your room number and directs you to your room on the third floor, overlooking the ocean.
You don’t have luggage, just your backpack, so forgo the lift and instead climb the spiral stairs to your room, number 11.
The old key slides into the lock and you open the door to a spacious, airy room. The window is opened slightly to the salty night air and the soft music which drifts up from the street below.
The wide, wooden bed is adorned with soft blankets and crisp white sheets, turned back to reveal more plump pillows than anyone could need.
Two ornate lamps with stained glass shades that echo the blue hues of the sea outside your window, sit atop matching bedside tables that stand on wooden curved legs.
You take off your backpack and sit on the velvet chair to remove your sandy shoes. You sit back for a moment and take a long deep breath, you are weary but perfectly content.
You run hot, steaming water into the bathroom sink and take the perfumed soap from the large sea shell that sits against the brass taps. You wash your sun kissed skin wearily then dry it with a soft, white towel.
Gazing into the bathroom mirror before getting into bed to witness your contented face and acknowledge how grateful you are to be here.
You make your way to the bed and run your hands over the cool sheets, they are softer than you had imagined they would be, you sit on the edge of the bed to test its comfort, it is perfect.
You lay down and outstretch on the mattress whilst pulling the sheet and soft blanket up towards your chin.
You take another long deep breath and completely relax your body, weary from walking and glowing from the warmth of the sun filled air.
You gaze out of the windows of your room and watch as the moonlight glimmers on the surface of the ocean, illuminating the waves as they roll towards the bay.
Your eyes gently close now as you enter a deeper state of peace, thankful for the experiences of the day and looking forward to the beauty of tomorrow.
Goodnight, sleep well.