I want to share with you some of my most cherished spots - places where, if mentioned, bring up an ahhh in me. Refuges in this harsh world. No order to this list.
- Uptown Coffee in Howell, Michigan. I can write to my heart's content, feel safe and comforted and nurtured.
- Hawk Island in Lansing, Michigan. Walk and talk place - one and a half miles around a large pond, which use to be a gravel pit. As a child, I'd go to this area and explore the woods, water and wildlife. Being there conjures good memories from my childhood, and creates new moments of insight during long walks with friends.
- Any of the multitude of state parks in Michigan, with a variety of terrains from very very sandy, to rocky, to uneven and leafy, soft and mushy. These are places my husband and children love to explore, take pictures, and just be. They create a sense of how small we are, and depending which state park, a sense of how vulnerable with bear, wolf and other "dangerous" creatures surrounding us, probably licking their lips in anticipation of a good bite.
- In the movie, Mama Mia, the steps leading down to the water while the actors sing "Dancing Queen". I can see myself there, walking down the steps, standing on the dock, jumping in the water, feeling like a queen in my children's eyes. Sigh!
- Kerry Town in Ann Arbor, in particular, Sweetwater, a coffee shop. We can spend hours there sipping Midnight Blend as we read and talk away the minutes.
- The Mackinac Bridge! I was born in Marquette and take frequent trips back "home" from lower Michigan. The moment the bridge is in sight, my mind is cleared of any negative thought or concern. When we were younger traveling with our parents, the first one to sight this Bridge got a quarter - they were never paid to us - but the excitement was evident. Driving across it is another matter. It typically doesn't bother me to drive but once it did and I grew faint about a third of the way across. I opened the window and the feeling passed; told my husband at the other side. From that day forward, he always asks if I want to drive over or have him.
- Marquette, Michigan! For those who have been up in this beautiful beautiful town, no more explanation is necessary. It is a place where I am truly at home anywhere we wander. It is family, nature, water, hills. It is comfort, history, love.
- Old cemeteries are a wonder. I grew up loving these as my grandfather and I would walk to a local one in Okemos - he would sit supported by a tree and I would play. They were never morbid, wonderfully peaceful to walk around, and a special place to reflect on life.
I could go on as more locations come to mind, but want to encourage you to consider the places in which you feel your "best" and healthiest - a place you can also call "home" and where all there, even the inanimate, know your name.