Good Places Are Teachers, Too

Morning at Lake Fletcher

There is no better way to figure out where you are than to stop moving.

My partner and I just returned from a long weekend at my family cottage. Everything in life changes, but the lake shows me some things change more slowly than others. My dad had a couple dead trees removed recently, but otherwise the view has hardly changed since I first saw it 33 years ago. I like that. It is the kind of place that encourages me to be still, observe and reflect.

Sometimes we need to change things. Still, it is always worthwhile to return to an old, familiar place where you feel grounded. It will reveal how you are different now compared with last year or the year before. If you are on the right path, your surroundings will reflect happiness back to you. If your heart is open, its home base will teach you new things. When the time comes to return to everyday life you will feel optimistic, not heartbroken. The quiet place will go on changing slowly until next time you return. You will not be afraid to leave.

The place could be a cottage or a lake. It could also be a garden, a good chair, a park bench or a footpath. You do not have to leave the city in order to find solitude, community or connection with the Earth. Sometimes we lose good places, just like good people. Then we must grieve, keep happy memories alive and move on. Places are trustworthy. They do not judge or betray your honesty.

Where is your soul home? What does it mean to you?


Comments

Good Places Are Teachers, Too — 12 Comments

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  2. Love this! I’ve long since learned that when I’m feeling especially stressed or out of balance, I need to get myself into the woods. There’s something about being in the company of tall trees—especially evergreens—that calms and grounds me, restores my faith and my purpose, and gives me what I need to continue forward.

    • Jen, this morning I read an excellent essay relating to this in the current issue of Orion Magazine: False Idyll. He argues “full-force nature” is grounding but not tranquillizing. My post tomorrow morning will respond. If you read it, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

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