Terri Kaiser

Where is your happy place? Oh, come on. I think everyone has one.

For me, it’s anywhere near water. That’s number one. Then, would be any flower garden. And finally, walking through the forest on a well-worn path.

Water has a calming, peaceful effect on me. I love the beach, whether it’s in northern Wisconsin or along the ocean. Taking a long walk along the Atlantic, I take great pleasure in watching the sea gulls dip and glide, strut within the surf, or dive-bomb an unsuspecting tourist who thinks they will have lunch on the shore. To watch children run in and out of the waves, their giggles drifting up into the stratosphere and to search for sea glass (of which I’ve never found any), to dodge the jellyfish (of which I’ve been bitten), and to stand upon the shore and realize how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things. Yet, tiny as we are, we humans have such a monumental impact upon all this around us. I could spend hours sitting along the river just down from our house and listen to the rustle of the leaves, the lap of the waves and the lucky chance to see a fish jump or a deer come to drink. There’s no better song than that of the rush or burble of water.

I have my flower gardens which will need lots of attention again this year. Now that I have more time, I am rearranging plants and making room for new additions. I might put in another flower bed or two. Don’t tell my husband. He doesn’t really care for the obstacle course that is our yard when mowing. But when I’m engaged in the yard, one hour blends into another and makes for a happy day.

Honestly, any time I am creative is happy.

Have you ever taken the time to stand in the woods and just listen? I truly believe that’s where we are meant to pray, to talk to whomever is listening, coming away duly refreshed. Following along through the woods can’t help but renew the soul—unless you’re being invited to leave by a bear or an outraged partridge (been there, done that).

Maybe your happy place is on a boat with a line cast off the side, or in a hunting shack waiting on ‘the big one,’ or on a porch letting the day slip past, watching a baseball game or sitting in the stands cheering on a race. Maybe it’s on the snowmobile trails in winter or an ATV trail in summer. Maybe it’s in the cab of a skidder on a logging job, or behind the wheel of a semi or a dump truck, sawing firewood or picking berries. Could it be looking out your kitchen window while doing dishes, or sitting at a sewing machine? How about painting a landscape or reading a book? Is it in church or just simply being anywhere with the people you love?

There are so many ways to feed the soul. It’s imperative to commune with ourselves every now and then, to be still, to simply be a resident on this old planet of ours.

From what I’ve heard, lots of people have discovered happy places due to the imposed isolation of the past year. That’s not at all a bad thing.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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