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.