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“My” place

When I lived in Victoria, the pull to connect with nature invariably drew me to the oceanfront, where breathing in the crispness of the salty, seaweed-scented air and watching the sun come alive in scattered sparkles on the tips of the waves was refreshing, renewing.

The ocean was life to me, invigorating and powerful, so vast and seemingly limitless yet, somehow, contained in and part of my own identity.

The ocean was “my” place.

At one time I believed that I could never, would never, live apart from that ocean… that if I were to move away, somehow I’d be leaving a piece of myself behind and with it, my happiness.

But, one day, I did leave.

And now that I’ve made a new home, far from any ocean, I have discovered that my identity isn’t something held captive by another geography… and that happiness isn’t reliant upon my surroundings.

Leaving the place I once thought of as defining who I am is empowering me with the joyful lesson that happiness and contentment may be found wherever and whenever I choose to take it.

The water still draws me. Now, in place of the ocean’s navy blue depths I am blessed by strength and inspiration in another form, a river that changes colour depending on the whim of the light and movement of the air – today, glowing turquoise; tomorrow, perhaps a hazy teal.

The difference, now, is that instead of expecting my surroundings to define my identity, I am free to let the me I already am drink in their beauty, learn from their force, grow by appreciating their depth.

“My place” is wherever I want it to be.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Elise March 18, 2012

    I once met a man who was living temporarily in an apartment. He was spending loads of time and energy painting his place and working on it. I asked why bother when he was moving so soon, and he responded that he likes his home to feel like his home regardless of how temporary it is. Reading your post reminded me of him and how homes are not dependent solely on location, but what we create.
    Elise recently posted… “You didn’t do jack?”My Profile

  • Kathy March 18, 2012

    You will find that home is wherever you hang your hat. It sounds like the beauty of water draws you and I am so pleased you can enjoy the beauty of a changing river at your new home.

    Kathy recently posted… Kitchen Disasters-BFF 176My Profile

  • Elizabeth
    March 18, 2012

    Very nice, and inspiring. I grew up in Las Vegas (the desert southwest US) and always always always wanted to be in the northwest where its GREEN. I lived in oregon for 5 years with my ex and it was beautiful, but when the relationship ended I couldn’t afford to live with what I was making. So, I picked up and moved back with my mom and it was disheartening. BUT! It was not so bad as I had remembered, and I reconnected with old friends and found a great person and now it is home again. I still do want to get back to somewhere green, but I’m good. 🙂
    Elizabeth recently posted… Joy.My Profile

    • Dawn
      March 18, 2012

      It’s a good lesson to learn, isn’t it, that we can find happiness wherever we are? It’s not always easy, or preferred, but totally possible.
      Dawn recently posted… “My” placeMy Profile

  • a.eye March 18, 2012

    I love your last statement and that you can find happiness wherever you are! Awesome!
    a.eye recently posted… How I feel about where I liveMy Profile

  • Linda
    March 19, 2012

    This was a really nice and refreshing post. I too, am a lover of the ocean. You reminded me that a river is so very beautiful too, even the rocks in it are beautiful…its ripples, its movement…the sound of the trickle. Being by a river is a peaceful place and you’ve inspired me to go visit one. There’s a beautiful little river in Carmel Valley I used to take my kids to for picnics. Thanks for sharing!
    Linda recently posted… Shenanigans…My Profile

  • Peter March 19, 2012

    One cold spring day in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada I stopped to go look at the Ottawa river…still with shards of ice floating near the shoreline. It was far from the noise of the city and you could hear the tiny pieces of ice tinkle like a billion happy bells. We had 3 rivers in that city and I loved them all. Fishing, swimming just walking by. Thank you for reminding me of the water and it’s soothing quality.

  • Jenn March 19, 2012

    This is beautiful. I am from Michigan (lots of lakes) originally, but ultimately grew up on Florida. On the Gulf Coast and spent a lot of time on the East Coast as well. I’ve lived in Ohio now for longer than I’ve ever wanted and I really miss the water!! Something about it I can just connect with…but I have learned to appreciate all the nature around me here too–and I do feel if I moved back “home” to Florida–I would miss the northern woods as well!! Lovely post! Cheers, Jenn.
    Jenn recently posted… ReflectionMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 19, 2012

      I love that no matter where you go, there’s always something in nature to appreciate. Life is good that way!
      Dawn recently posted… “My” placeMy Profile

  • The M Half
    March 19, 2012

    Wow, Dawn. I think this “The difference, now, is that instead of expecting my surroundings to define my identity, I am free to let the me I already am drink in their beauty, learn from their force, grow by appreciating their depth.” is a sentence written by someone who is self-aware, intentional, thoughtful, and understands the value of living “in the moment.”

    I really love that sentence. What a beautiful thought.
    The M Half recently posted… GBE2: ShenanigansMy Profile

  • Masked Mom March 24, 2012

    I once lived quite near the ocean and I still have an enormous craving to be near the ocean–though my location and my life in general mean it’s years between visits. I fill in the gaps by paying more attention to the creeks, swamps, ponds, and lakes that are nearby. I love your take on all of it.
    Masked Mom recently posted… You Call That Crap Art?My Profile


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