Life can hurt you! I’m not talking about literal wounds and pains as much as I am addressing the problems of busyness, responsibilities, all the things you need to do, have to do, just to survive.
Experts talk about stress. Stress creates tension, pressure, a sort of slow crush that causes you to be anxious, worried, or even to despair. Yes, some evidently thrive on stress. Most of us can take it for a while, but eventually, we just need to get away.
That’s where the “place” comes in. Everybody needs a place. The “place” is where we can retreat, recharge, rest, relax, and just unwind. I want to talk about the place.
I have several of these places. Most of them I stumbled across accidently. I didn’t know they were there. Some, I found while doing other things. Some, I found with the help of other people, who didn’t know I was looking for, or in need of, a place, but they helped me discover one anyway. A few I found by turning the right corner at the right time. I have always known it immediately upon finding one of these places. If you only have one, or maybe two, it’s still good. Having several just gives you options to choose from. I find that even better.
So, how does one recognize one of these places I’m talking about, what do you do there, and why are they so important?
I know a place almost immediately. It’s almost always a place I consider beautiful. Understand, that is a personal judgment. You might not think the same as I do. Still, these places are, for me, invitingly pretty. Beyond that, it’s a place where I feel comfortable. Most of mine are outside the hustle and bustle of city life, or they are tucked away in a corner somewhere, peaceful, quiet, and easy to be there. I find natural, wooded areas, or a beautiful lake, or another scenic setting to be my choices for a place.
As for what to do there, I would say it depends. For me, I can enjoy doing absolutely nothing. That’s probably not entirely true. Rest is something. Letting go of everything that is creating stress is something more. Allowing yourself to drink in the setting, the sounds, the smells, and to allow your senses to tune in to the world that often gets ignored, is also something. Often, I take a good book and get deep into the story. Living in an alternative universe through the medium of literature is really something.
I’m a serious amateur photographer, so my camera is a frequent companion. It allows me to record a slice of time, to return to the place I enjoyed, to relive it days, even years, later the wonder of the place where I made the photo.
Why is this so important? I think we were created to connect with the world. It’s amazing how estranged we are from it. Someone once encouraged us to purposely “stop and smell the roses”. This is the idea I’m talking about. There is something about having a place that allows us to release the venom of life’s stings, shedding our woes and troubles, and discovering once again that living is more than worthwhile.
My grandfather had a room. I think that was his place, at least one of them. It was just a small room, big enough for a desk and a chair. There was a small table over in one corner, and all four walls were covered with shelves, and the shelves were filled with books. I imagine he found it a great place. Yours might be similar, just a room that you call you own. Or it might be a lake surrounded by tall pines, shaded and cool even on a hot summer day. You might even be on the other side of one of my lakes! It’s really not hard to find such a place. You just need to pay attention. I think you’ll recognize your place when you get there.
I wish for you a sense of wonder. I hope for you an appreciation for this world you live in. It’s too easy to be disappointed in it and to hate it. Instead, I want for you a place that makes you feel alive. I’d give you one of mine if you needed it. I’m confident that I would find another one.
Everyone needs a place, at least one. Please, if you don’t have one, promise yourself that you’ll find one this week. Don’t put it off. It’s that important. I won’t bother trying to convince you that I know what I’m talking about. I will only say, that if you find the kind of place I’m thinking about, you won’t need to tell me I was right. All you need to do is go there. I’ll be satisfied to know that you will be blessed, and you’ll be a better person because you have a place.