My Happy Place


The cool breeze skimmed over the dark water, tracing the ripples all the way to the rocky shore where it broke into pieces and scattered into the forest just over the pine-needle laden floor. The tree branches above danced as the wind wound its way upward in a tango toward the star speckled sky.

She sighed deeply, closed her eyes, and inhaled. The frogs and crickets chirped and sang, echoing back and forth across the dark liquid expanse. The fire flickered behind her. This peace, this quiet, this was exactly what she needed.

The night, especially the night in the middle of nowhere, hugged her closer than any other creature on the planet. It leaped into her heart and squeezed her from the inside out. This, this simplistic, primal, natural gorgeous place was where her soul was formed. She ran her hands through the pine-needle covered dirt beside her and let the dirt sift through her fingers.

Hugging her brown cable sweater a little closer, she shivered in the dark. Time to go sit next to the fire, she thought. Lingering just a little longer, she stared into the sky, briefly identifying a few constellations here and there. She’d been away too long and could only identify a basic few – Orion, the Big Dipper, and The Little Dipper. In a galaxy far far away, a long time ago, she could identify several more but that knowledge had been left behind in the distant past, buried. She sighed, slowly stood, and walked carefully back to the fire pit.

The flames danced rhythmically with the gentle breeze, sparks flying here and there. The crackles and pops served as the percussion as the frogs and crickets sang along in a falsetto. Oh, how she had truly missed camping.

When she was a child, her parents went camping quite a bit. Her favourite place to camp as a kid was at the beach. There was nothing like sitting next to a campfire with the roar of the ocean behind you and the cool sand behind your toes. It’s quite something to realize the sand isn’t always wont to burn the bottom of your feet off. And s’mores on the beach – oh my goodness. That’s a whole ‘nother level of heaven right there.

But this – the mustiness of the trees, the soothing constant lap of the lake as it played endlessly with the breeze which frolicked just above it, the echoing of the various creature calls – this, this was camping – this was heaven. Solace. Solitude. Peace.

She sat there, book in hand, reading, until the flames flickered one last time as they sank deep into the dirt to sleep for the night and await rekindling in the morning. Unzipping her tent, she climbed in, took off her boots, and climbed into the sleeping bag. As she drifted off to sleep, the lake whispered a lullaby as the breeze intensified, helping the trees cradle the night just above her.

Everyone has a happy place in their head, a place to which they escape when things get tough. If you don’t, you should. I’ve just described mine to you. Tell me about yours. Where is your happy place? What does it look like? How does it make you feel?

#HAWMC: Lost in the light


Today I took some time just for me. I drove an hour to a state park and meandered on the trails for over two hours. I ended up at a dam which is where I sat and ate lunch, listening to the rushing water, the birds, and enjoyed the gentle breeze flowing around me.

I watched a crow fly from one side of the lake shore to the other. Boats came and went on the water beneath the dam, some of them stopping to cast a line in the hopes of catching a fish.

As I sat there, soaking up the atmosphere, sunshine, and basking in the relaxing view, I realized that no matter how hard things get, no matter how dark they might seem, the sun always rises the next morning. So shall we.

I lost myself today. Not in the darkness, but in the light. I didn’t want to leave the grassy knoll above the dam. I could have stayed there all day. Losing yourself in the light instead of the darkness is an experience like no other. Your heart soars and tumbles like the strong hawk floating on a thermal high in the sky. You smile as you exhale, closing your eyes as you drink in the peace around you, remembering a time when you could have sat there and not seen or felt a thing.

It’s days like today which make me grateful for the dark. Because without it, days like today wouldn’t mean so much to me.

Friday Soother


Honeysuckle

In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.
       – Aristotle

I’ll take my front yard over Calgon any day….


After a particularly stressful weekend of Cameron screaming his way through it and the girls well, being toddlers, I made it a point to slow down today. You wouldn’t know it though because I did three loads of dishes and laundry (no, I didn’t FOLD the laundry.. that’s for tomorrow), cooked a wonderful rosemary dijon pork roast with carrot souffle, green beans, and stuffing. YUM. And for dessert, we made gum drops. (Jello cut into shapes and dusted with powdered sugar) See.. fun stuff!

After dinner, I decided to fix myself a cup of tea once I had finished cleaning up. Took the tea to the front porch and sat on our bench swing to watch Nature settle in for the evening. I am still breathless and amazed at everything I quietly witnessed.

Bees buzzed, birds chirped and called to one another, squirrels played tag in the gigantic pines, children down the road squealed in delight and called to one another, walkers strode by and bicyclists zoomed past. I watched the goats at the farm across the street scurry toward dinner and felt wind that was stirred up by two birds flying through our front porch. But the most captivating of all was a tiny brown creature with long ears and a twitching nose. A wild bunny rabbit sat in our front yard eating dinner. I sipped my tea slowly and watched as the bunny sniffed and chewed, occasionally stopping to scratch it’s ear. As he slipped away across the yard, he stopped to clean his face. Well-mannered little thing, I thought. The sun continued to slide down behind the trees, leaving an orange glow wrapped around the stand of pine trees in our yard. This glow illuminated all the flying insects and made them seem magical, almost surreal. And that my friends, is why I will take my front yard over Calgon any day!