My Favorite Place On Earth

I’ve heard people say that they use a technique where they visualize they are somewhere else while they are going through something unpleasant.  This technique is very useful, so I’ve heard, when you’re at the dentist’s office or trying to fall asleep in a strange city.  I’ve been told to “image my favorite place on earth”.   I haven’t really given that a lot of thought until now.  Where would my favorite place on earth be?

When I was young, my favorite place was simply at the end of the block.  My friends and I would walk down the street to the little forest preserve with a paper bag full of bologna sandwiches and a jar for catching bugs.  My only requirement for my favorite place is that I could share it with my friends, and that there was both a sense of the familiar and an element of surprise entwined in the destination.

By the time I was in college, with all the demands that entailed, my favorite place was this little window seat at the top stairwell of Blanchard Hall.  The sun would always warm the corner in the late afternoon, and I could put my feet up with a book or simply watch the passerby four stories below and daydream a little.  My favorite place became more about relaxation and less about adventure.

I have a favorite place on earth that I carry myself to in my imagination when I’m stressed or restless or apprehensive now.  It’s not an actual place, I’ve never been there.  There’s a big house on a beach with a wrap around porch and battered white rocking chairs.  There’s a breeze that’s soft on the porch but more demanding out on the water, creating that constant melody of the sea hitting the rocks as it laps against the shore.  I can hear birds in the distance and the soft, faraway sound of children laughing.  Sometimes I have a book, but mostly I’m simply immersed in thought.  But always there’s someone I love next to me, and the squeaking of the chair as it rocks against the porch is a wordless comfort.

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