Tuesday, June 16, 2015

                                               Where Is Your "Safe Place?"

     Where do you go when you’re feeling weird, out of sorts, sad, irritable? A therapist once told me years ago to find a “safe place,” where I could be alone and think about what was making me feel off balance.

     Some who work have no time to even think about alone time, much less going to an actual place other than their bedrooms or somewhere in the attic or basement. Some like me, years ago, didn’t even know they needed alone time or space to process, reflect or just “be.”

     I remember when we moved to the south and I thought about where my “safe place” would be, I targeted the ocean as my number one choice. I have used this special nature retreat many times over the years, but I don’t always go there when I should. This morning, I just wanted to be on the water, so I packed up my stuff at 7:00 a.m. and headed to the beach (a 15-minute drive). At 7:45 in the morning, there are very few people at the beach, particularly on a Monday morning. Even the surfers are still sleeping, although they are the consistent beach inhabitants in the early hours. 

     The water was gorgeous this morning, and the gentle breeze just caressed my skin and made me feel “at home.” There is nothing more magical than a pure blue sky and cresting waves being swallowed by the shore.  The sun warms my body and my spirit. Within minutes I am “safe” and at peace. I don’t need to read or listen to music; the story is in the rhythm of the surf, and the music comes from morning birds’ wings fluttering in the wind.

    I do read, and I do listen to music, though. But every few minutes, I look out at the liquid mural before me, and I take out the ear plugs to let the melody of the sand swirl around me. 
It’s an orchestra of nature, and I tap my toes on the shells on my journey from chair to shore. 

    I will always feel “safe” here, and I am humbled by nature’s nurturing touch.

P.S.  I took Reggie with me. Reggie became part of our family at the French Open in 2008. He has traveled with us to Greece, Australia, Arizona and Michigan. I decided to take him with me this morning to introduce him to my “safe place.” He loved it instantly, but he looked a bit embarrassed when people stared at his “mom of a certain age” taking pictures of him. When I’m safe, I don’t really care what people think.