My first true happy place is the beach just right of the West Tower at Ocean Creek in Myrtle Beach, especially at sunrise when all I hear are the waves gently breaking on the shore. To me, the beach holds unexplained powers of rejuvenation and healing. The power of the surf reminds me that I am a mere participant in the universe and by no means in control it.
The beach is nature at its finest and I feel like it’s a spiritual experience I would not feel anywhere else in the world.
So imagine when I found solace in my backyard garden. If someone told me five years ago that I would be excited to take care of plants, I would have laughed for two reasons: first, I was sleep deprived because I was taking care of babies, and the thought of taking care of something in addition to a human seemed ludicrous. And second, almost every plant I have ever owned has met it’s untimely demise under my care. (And if it was possible, I’m sure artificial plants would have died, too).
Last year, my dad made me a raised garden box because I was determined to make this work. I filled it with top soil and carefully planted my tomatoes, basil, parsley, mint and rosemary while my kids played peacefully nearby. I hoped for the best.
Something unexpected happened: both my daughter and son began to take an interest in the garden. They watered the garden and loved eating the sun-warmed tomatoes fresh from the vine. I added a chair and as the fragrances of the mint and rosemary mingled with the scent of freshly watered tomatoes, I felt calm as I connected daily with nature.
I was proud because I succeeded at something I never thought I would. My self-confidence received an unanticipated boost as we enjoyed the bounty of each harvest. This year, I was inspired to experiment with new flowers and herbs. I am enjoying a certain sense of freedom that comes from succeeding to overcome a personal obstacle.
Living in Michigan with my happy place being a beach miles away on the southeast coast can be disheartening. But walking a few feet to my garden, my place of solace, and having the opportunity to find peace and joy every day is amazing.
What is your happy place?