Back when I was in college I had a fantastic professor that encouraged contemplation in her classroom. She did this by requiring her students to buy a journal for her course and keep regular entries. Another way contemplation was explored was through guided meditation, which happened in class, and it usually preceded a journal prompt.
Before our first guided mediation my professor told us all to close our eyes and to envision a space that was uniquely our own. She said we could make it anywhere and anything that we chose: outside, inside, on earth or in outer space.
Since I lived in Florida during this time, I didn’t want my “safe place” to be somewhere tropical. I felt like it should be a location I hadn’t ever been before. I wanted it to exist only in my mind.
Before I saw it, I knew what I wanted to hear and feel in the space. I wanted it to be quiet for the most part, but to contain a few select sounds: the gentle rush of water, birds chirping and the soft sound of blades of grass as they slid between my bare toes. Besides the physical feel of the earth on my feet and the wind on my face, I wanted to feel tranquil, relaxed and safe.
I pictured lots of greenery, possibly a field with a wildflower or two and a babbling creek with crystal clear water. My meditation destination was beautiful and serene, much like the images seen in this post from Maramec Spring Park located in the small historic town of St. James, Missouri.
My husband and I recently took an early anniversary trip to Maramec Spring and the moment I stood on the bank of the river that runs through the park, I was reminded of my safe place. There I was, feeling at peace, mixed with the oddest sense of deja vu.
I think getting away to this park was the universe’s way of reminding me that there are places in this world that are every bit as beautiful and inspiring as the worlds we can create inside our minds.
*A quick note about the pictures–It drizzled, poured, thundered and misted throughout the length of our stay, but that didn’t keep us from getting fantastic photos. I say “us” when in reality my husband took all the pictures while I looked on and enjoyed the scenery 🙂 I think the rain helped set a mood and added to the beauty in some of the shots.