Friday, April 8, 2011

Where do you go to think?

My favourite thinking place.
The building where a Christchurch colleague of mine worked, was irreparably damaged in the earthquake that devastated the Christchurch CBD on February 22nd. Forty or so people from that organisation are now working from their homes, often in difficult circumstances and with limited essential services.

I was moved when my friend told me that she didn't mind working from home but all the places she'd once gone to relax, no longer existed. It made me think about the places I go when I need to reflect, untangle a problem, have a weep, or even to be quietly joyful.

Water always brings me peace.
Water always brings me peace. For preference I love the sea, especially on a wintry, stormy day but the hour's drive to the nearest beach isn't always possible. I'm very fortunate to live in a lovely natural setting and my favourite thinking place is a deep, fern-lined pond just a short distance from home. A few minutes leaning on the timbered fence, gazing into the water always seems to bring me peace of mind or revitalise me when I'm down.

I really feel for my Christchurch colleague. I hope she'll find another retreat that's special to her.

Where's your favourite thinking place? I'd love to hear about it. Maybe you prefer noise or music to think by. Please feel free to send a pic and I'll post separately (and yes, I've used a photo of my favourite thinking place as my blog-header).


  1. Leigh,

    I love the sound of gently running water - like a fountain or a river over rapids - but I suppose it depends on the mood I'm in.

    If I'm in a volatile or emotional mood I love the sound of a rough, storm driven sea, waves crashingon rocks or a beach (but where I live I'd have to travel 5hrs to hear that sound).

    So, the place I go to relax is my garden. Sometimes just sitting in one of the garden chairs under the Jacarandah tree listening to the sounds around me or actually getting out there to do some weeding or trimming, dirtying my hands and letting my mind drift as I tackle the chore.

    Listening to the wind is also soothing. I'm lucky I live in a very rural setting so the sounds of modern life are few and far between. I live at the foot of a mountain and next to a gully that has lots of eucalypts and other trees. When the wind picks up you hear it rustling in the leaves and branches.

    Nature is a wonderful relaxant.

  2. I love to listen to the wind too, Kylie. And rain on the roof. I wonder if this yen for nature is common to us all, even if we live in a big city. Thanks, Kylie - nice to hear from you.

  3. This all sounds fantastic.
    Note to self: when I stop full time work next week, and start partime writer, I must find place to relax. (also need to check dictionary about the meaning of the word)

  4. Perhaps as writers it's our need to focus outward for a while (as opposed to living in our imagination) and because we naturally take notice of what surrounds us - natural, man-made, conversations etc.?

  5. What you say makes sense, Kylie. I have a hearing impairment and have to listen really hard and focus on people while they're speaking. Sometimes I just need to be away from human voices - birds, dogs, cats etc are fine-they don't expect an answer!

  6. Oh, no, Tyree. Now you've got me pulling words apart: my interpretation without going to the dictionary: 'lax'=lazy 're'= do it again. I don't feel so good about relaxing now-I'm just being lazy multiple times!

  7. Hi Leigh, Kylie and Tyree,
    I'm fortunate enough to live a walk away from a beautiful beach, and five minutes' drive from a gorgeous river with a choice of sun-dappled swimming holes. Both areas provide me with peaceful, mind-relaxing walking spots.
    And I, too, love the rain on the roof to sleep by, or to curl up with a good book.

  8. Sounds as if nature does it for you too, Cherie. I wonder where people who live in big cities go to relax? I guess there's always a corner even in the busiest city, where we can get close to nature.

  9. I was so sad for the people of Christchurch. Wow.

    I live out in the boonies where there are lots of hiking trails. Whenever I'm stuck on plot, or just need to step away, I take the dogs for a walk. Works like a charm.

  10. Julie, thanks for stopping by to comment. Sounds as if you have no trouble finding a special place. Walking is great for thinking and I really should do more of it! Our lazy old dog just likes to sleep on the porch and wave 'bye' to me.

  11. When I lived in California my fave place was the beach, espicially at sunset. When I moved to Colorado I would always go to the mountains and sit by a stream. Now...I moved to Wisconsin due to hubby's job transfer, I haven't found a place that inspires me. I am a beach and mountian girl. There is only corn fields here, so I sit in my backyard.

  12. Hi Isabella. Thanks for visiting my blog :). I hope you find a little corner somewhere that's 'you'. Is Wisconsin flat countryside? I imagine that would be difficult after living by mountains and the sea. I love to look out at hills and rolling countryside.

  13. Dear Leigh
    I last visited Christchurch many years ago. My memories are of being freezing cold when I arrived but that was taken over by my discovery of the beauty of the city. It seemed vibrant but peaceful.
    With these fond memories, I feel for the people of Christchurch as they strive to rebuild their beautiful home. Anne

  14. Hello Book Mark It - thanks for visiting my blog! Christchurch people are still going through difficult times. Now winter has set in to make it even tougher. I truly hope rebuilding proper will begin before too long.