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Where’s your special place?

Where's your special place?

Where do you  go to  find some happiness and relaxation and peace?

For my Dad, I'm sure it was his local pub. My wife, JoAnn, would probably say her quilting room.

For me, I love being with Nature. It doesn't have to be an exotic place faraway -- just a little bit of Nature will do, a tree, a creek, or a plot of flowers in a park or city street that's handy and easily accessible...

It helps, of course, if my special place is beautiful. But how can it not be beautiful? We are talking about Nature, and the natural world is beautiful even when surrounded by garbage or zillion tons of concrete.

The important thing, I have found, is to build an increasing sense of love and appreciation for my special place over time. This isn't hard to do, because when you reconnect with Nature, you reconnect with yourself -- and it's wonderful.

You discover a new sense of connection with the fountain of peace and happiness bubbling up every moment from the depth of your being.

How a creek gave me peace

I lived for many years in a small village in British Columbia, where amongst other things I was editor of the local newspaper for a while.

It was a lot of work at times, and I still remember the relief I felt one day when I finally finished putting together a special tourist edition that I thought would never get done.

To say I was drained would have been putting it mildlly. As soon as the job was finished I walked to a nearby park and found a special place beside a creek where I had been going for years.

I threw myself down on my back on the grass, stretched out my arms -- and breathed in the beauty of the surroundings and the sweet summer air.

Do people say Heaven is after we die? I think it's here already, if I have eyes open to see it.

The sanctuary of our own authentic presence

I have found nourishment and communion with Nature all my life.

There is a paradox here, mind you. In my latter years, I have learned that in one sense we don't have to go anywhere.

All we need to do is to be still for a few moments, and hear the serene voice of our own authentic presence calling to us, undismayed by the noise and anguish of the world.

The healing power of Nature has blessed me in so many ways. But what works for you? Where do you go for healing and happiness and restoration?

Please share.

The lines are open...

Picture credit:http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3502/3969590175_a8eabd6105_m.jpg


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Madeleine Kolb August 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Being out in nature always boosts my spirits and gives me a wonderful break from working indoors. Nearly every day, I walk down to a beach on Chesapeake Bay where I see osprey, gulls, terms, cormorants, herons, and egrets. I bring my binoculars and never tire of watching the birds.
Madeleine Kolb recently posted..Slogging Through The Social Security Debate One Lie At A Time


Christopher Foster August 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Oh Madeleine I thank you for your comment but a part of me is thinking, “Goshdarnit I’d like to be there too walking on the beach and looking at the birds…” But I live in Denver and the ocean couldn’t be much further away but then, it’s where I’m supposed to be at the moment and so bless you and bless Chesapeake Bay and bless all the seas everywhere.
Hey, your latest post sounds great…thanks again for leaving a comment Madeleine.


Lance August 27, 2010 at 11:39 am

This was like a breath of fresh air…reading your words. Nature can be such a beautiful retreat…and as simple as a park, a backyard, or stepping out the front door. And it reminds me that nature works at her pace (the rush of life just seems to fall by the wayside for our natural world).

For me, I love taking my bike out and riding on a local bike path we have. It’s nourishing to just soak in the sounds, the sights, the smells…
Lance recently posted..Music For The Soul


Christopher Foster August 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Isn’t this so true Lance? Want to try to make a tree or a flower grow faster? Ain’t going to happen. I think Nature is one of our greatest teachers, and don’t you think that one of the things she has to teach is that struggle isn’t needed anymore when we’re in sync with the universe? Thank you for your words about your biking, I was there with you. And now I’ll hop on over and read your latest post, “Music for the Soul.” I know it’s going to be a real treat.


Louise August 29, 2010 at 5:56 am

Thanks, Chris, for this timely (and timeless) reminder. I have just returned from a couple glorious days in the “bush” (about an hour from Johannesburg), complete with herds of wildebeest, baboons, countless birds and all. I am immensely thankful for the healing, restorative essence of nature. But what I really took note of was your comment, “All we need to do is to be still for a few moments… and hear the beauty of our own authentic presence calling to us, untouched by the noise and anguish of the world.”

That is true freedom. Taking time for conscious, deliberate silence — a few minutes or a whole day — allows access to the special place within, one’s own personal secret garden. I am making a point of doing this and finding it immensely valuable. Finally my authentic self has a chance to be heard! What a gift that we are all in this adventure of life together to share, support, remind and inspire one another. Thanks again.


Christopher Foster August 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Great to hear from you Louise. Thank you for your gorgeous comment. I was in the African bush with you. Two things stand out for me in your remarks, the first being freedom. What is it? If we are not free within ourselves to know peace, to know happiness, are we really free? I think it’s a vision, and adventure, worth devoting a whole lifetime to.
The second thought I also appreciated so much is the reminder that as you say, “we are all in this adventure together to share, support, remind and inspire one another.”
It’s one of the dreams I have with this blog, Louise, to contribute to this experience of increasing friendship and freedom, mutual cooperation and love that I believe is our true destiny on this planet.


Ramblings of a Woman August 31, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Nature is one of my stress relievers! When I was recently working a stressful job, I would tell my husband, “I need my nature fix!” and we would go to the creek or pond just to sit. Because I was always stressed and pressed for time (my job required me to be out and about), I would try to park in a pretty place, or take the nicer route, just to give myself some respite.
Think I want to go the the pond this afternoon…
Ramblings of a Woman recently posted..Come and rest awhile


Christopher Foster August 31, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for your comment Bernice. I’m with you all the way. There’s a creek back of our townhome complex, and there’s a spot where the creek widens a bit with rocks you can sit on. So that’s where I like to go and sit and listen to the music of running water.. plus, extra dividend, people bring their dogs to swim and romp, so I get a dog fix too…doesn’t get much better than this. I have to be a bit careful mind you, let the dogs shake themselves a bit first… Say hi to your pond for me.


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