Saturday, December 26, 2015

Finding Your Happy Place - Newport News Park

The need for a happy place is probably underestimated in modern society where we are always on the go. Psychologist Dave would highly recommend you take the time to ask yourself where is your happy place. Go ahead and write it down on a piece of paper. If you can't think of a place go for a long walk. There's probably a reason why I'm not a psychologist.

My son's happy place is clearly being on his new Christmas bike. I'm not sure if it's my happy place as he's now bugging me to go out on it every five minutes. Of course, this is where adults are a lot more complex than kids. If he told me he wasn't interested in it, it would get me down but it's also a drag to trail him around the apartment complex 10 times a day, making sure he doesn't crash and burn into parked cars.

Maybe a happy place should be a physical place. Think of that place where you could sit still and be at peace with the world. I recall a villa in Portugal where I could sit on the patio and watch the clouds moving fast over the vineyards. There were white church towers in the distance and the sounds of bells tinkling across the fields. Or there was the sun playing on the roofs of the shining cupola on the church in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Sadly these are not places we can go back to regularly. In recent months, Newport News Park has been my happy place in that it has been a small slice of wilderness in which I can wander aimlessly shaking my head slowly at the antics of people who believe petty victories are a substitute for life.

I have pulled off the road at all times of the day to walk the trails, sometimes with S but usually alone. I have looked over the marshes as the sun goes down over the reeds and early in the morning. I have walked through the fortifications of the Battle of Lee's Mill where Northern and Southern lives were lost for little gain on April 16, 1862. Even in happy places you can see reminders of the futility of hate. The people who I see are usually in couples or there are families with small kids poking around in the undergrowth. A few decades ago I would have felt self-conscious being alone but those days are long gone. Finding a happy place is all about finding a place where you can be happy in your own skin. We don't always need props. Nature can provide them. Of course, there are other happy places which are not necessarily so beneficial. To name but a few.

1 Cystal meth;
2 Fortified wine;
3 An obsession with Christmas tree ornaments;
4 Listening to Justin Bieber;
5 Believing Donald Trump is the savior of the world.

I hope you find your happy place in 2016.

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