We all have our places in the sun. Those places, things or activities that we love and that give us joy and bring us peace and inner comfort.
Being a fairly extreme introvert, my places in the sun tend to be quiet, reflective and often solitary venues – including my own self-created and compelling inner garden. My personal oasis is perpetually lush, green and delicately scented. It is eternally warmed by the sun and has a secret path that leads to a clear pond in which I can gaze and see my reflexion clearly. I learn many things there and it holds the key to my peace of mind. It is in fact, my favourite place in the sun. But there are others.
Sitting in my screened veranda watching a summer thunder-storm blow in over the mountains from the west, sipping a glass of Chardonnay, is pure joy to me. I love the sound of distant thunder, and the way the air smells just before a storm. Ironically, the drama of the thunder and lightning and hard-falling rain leaves me peaceful – almost trance-like. Unlike most people, I am always happy when it rains..
I am also in love with mountains. Some people love the ocean and sandy beaches; give me a calm lake and a mountain and I`m in heaven. There is nothing like a majestic mountain to put me in my place in the universe. A humbling reminder of how small my own existence is compared to the expanse of life. For whatever reason, the fact that I share a minute microcosm of existence with the universe brings me peace. It is fertile soil for a peak experience of the Maslowian kind.
I also love cross-country skiing. There is nothing like cutting through the woods after a fresh snow fall, when you`ve found your rhythm, breathing in the fresh air on a crisp blue-sky day in winter. I don`t think I`m alone on this one. If you want to see happy people, go do some cross-country skiing. Everybody you meet will be smiling from ear to ear.
I love to run into the wind (or on my treadmill ;)), listening to my favourite music on my iPod. I get to lose myself for a while and I often visit my internal garden when I am looking for answers. Running takes me to my place in the sun.
Another place in the sun; my home office. It`s cozy, has a great view of the Gatineau Hills, and most importantly, houses my computer. It is here that I do my writing, which brings me significant joy and fulfillment.
I could go on. Sharing special moments with loved ones also gives me the warm and fuzzies. Painting on canvas for hours on end brings me intense satisfaction, often transporting me into a flow state. See Csikszentmihalyi`s Flow State. And there are many others, but the ones I have listed are those places that are consistently compelling to me.
One thing is for certain; the elements that bring me the most joy and comfort in life are not things that can be bought. I have no need or desire for extensive travel, fancy restaurants, pretentious homes, or expensive jewelry and cars. These are things I can afford, but which I don`t care about. I am comforted by the knowledge that what brings me the most joy and fulfillment in life are simple things, and that my places in the sun will always be available to me no matter what my circumstances in life.
What are your favourite places in the sun?