Friday, September 3, 2010

If Wishes Were Horses

I am feeling spiritually and creatively drained right now.  I told Hubby I just wanted to take off and go apple picking in the mountains this weekend, but alas, our money tree is in bad shape right now.  But  as we were talking I realized I haven't been anywhere to replenish my soul in at least 6 years.  I have been places:  to visit family, weddings, touring with my theater.  But I haven't taken a retreat in 6 years.  So I thought I would take a few minutes to share some of my favorite places with you, kind of a mini-mental retreat.

The first and foremost place I want to be right now is the Grand Canyon.  I love the Grand Canyon.  I have been there twice and as soon as I pass through Williams and into the wild unencumbered desert something in me changes and my soul just settles.  Everytime PBS runs their Grand Canyon special I am sucked in like a child to those giant lollipops.  And yes, that's me on the mule when I was MUCH younger.

My second favorite place is in the mountains of North Carolina.  There is a place called Springmaid Mountain.  I have been there a few times and every time I'm there, I never want to leave.  There's nothing spectacular about the lodging.  It's pretty generic cabin type stuff, but the mountain itself is beautiful.  There's a spring and horses and it sits right on the Toe River.  I swear if you go there you can not hold on to tension of any sort.

Another place I love is not nature-oriented, but I have such fond memories of spending days here that I had to add it.  It is the Serpentine Wall in Cinncinnati.  I'm not sure why, but there is something there that  really appeals to the creative side of me.  You can sit in one state and look across the river at the other state.  Plus, when I was there, there was an old paddleboat that sat on the side and I always imagined what Cincy  was like "back in the day."

Another non-nature oriented place was the Ca'd zan Mansion in Florida.  Actually, not the mansion.  I could give two flips for wealth and opulence.  But when you walk around the house you are left on a patio over looking the bay (at least I think it is a bay).  When you stand there, smelling the sea air, entrenched by tile and stone, you can't help but be touched by the artisans who created the mansion.  The spot is magical.

Last is a place I only spent one day in.  A long time ago I volunteered with the Nature Conservancy and I was sent to the Green Swamp in South Carolina.  I was one of only 3 people out of a promised 10 who showed up.  We spent a long hot August day cleaning up roofing shingles and tires and other garbage that idiots had illegally dumped.  As my reward for working so hard I was taken into the very heart of the swamp where anyone not associated with the Nature Conservancy was not allowed to go.  And I found out why.  There is the middle of the swamp was an actual savannah.  It was amazing, untouched and so unexpected in the coastal swamp area that I just sat there and soaked it all in, knowing it was a rare gift.  Bet you didn't know there was a savannah in South Carolina.  And no, this picture is not of the savannah.  I didn't have my camera that day.

Sadly I live so far away from all of these places now that I am not sure I will ever see them again.  And I'm sure there are more places.  Heck, I've lived in 4 different states, visited 30 states and traveled to 5 different countries.  But not every state or place had something that forced me by its sheer natural power to just breathe and refresh.  So I'm interested to know, where's your "special" place?  Maybe someone out there has one that I could actually afford to go to.  I have several readers who live an hour away so I'm hoping you know something I don't know. 


ElectricDaisy said...

I live in the desert so I know exactly how you feel about the calming effect it has. In the 10th grade I went to Williams to go sledding with my high school boyfriend and then we went to the Grand Canyon. I scraped my hip very badly on a hidden rock as I was sledding down on my stomach, and when it healed it made a heart-shaped scar. Very fitting, as it was Valentine's Day.

When we got to the Canyon it was snowing so hard there was zero visibility. Dejected, we went to an Imax about the Canyon instead. When we got out, the snow had stopped and the Canyon covered in snow remains one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

When I go on vacation, I like to go to San Diego. The beach also makes me feel very calm.

Brandie said...

Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. My favorite place to get away.

FreeDragon said...

My favorite place is the Tallapoosa River. There is one little sandy beach below Martin Dam that I love. Turns out my father used to fish/camp there. Across the river is Cherokee Bluff where my ancestor Red Eagle jumped into the river during the battle of horseshoe bend. Every time I go I feel a connection to where my family comes from. The land is owned by the power company and it's one of the few places on the river that's free to visit. It's also undeveloped, so you can see how an Alabama forest is supposed to look. Most people think all we have are pine trees, but that's what happens when land is clear cut; the pines grow faster than anything else and they take over the hardwoods.

Joy said...

A little place outside of Bishop, CA called Benton. I've seen wild mustangs there 4 out of the 5 times I've been. And it's very cool to ride across the CA/NV border several times in a day.

My all time best is New Mexico. That place really is the land of enchantment.

Erica said...

I've only been there once, but they left an impression to be sure: the Picture Rocks along the coast of Lake Superior in the upper peninsula of Michigan. We camped for our honeymoon there (getting married at 21 = little funds). Heck, all of Lake Superior for that matter! The water is so cold and the pH is different so the water stays really really clear and the most amazing blue you'll ever see. Also, since the water is so clear, you can take boats with glass bottoms out on the lake and look at old wooden shipwrecks 150+ years old, perfectly preserved :)

Anonymous said...

I love your new background because my favorite place is the beach. Any beach really, but especially white sand and blue water. Something about the ocean really calls to me and calms me at the same time. I know how you feel!


Bubblewench said...

The Oregon Coast. It's where I feel most at peace.