Special Places

moreblossomsmallThe world is full of amazing and beautiful places, but there are some that just feel special somehow. Perhaps because of a memory connected with that particular spot or because the sight of it fills you with awe. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a lot and have visited various well-known sites such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Acropolis in Athens, the Pyramids in Egypt and Himeji Castle in Japan. They take your breath away and you store that feeling away in your mind to think about from time to time.

But sometimes there can be special places closer to home, somewhere to go when you need to recover some of your inner harmony, or wa as the Japanese say. Or when you just want to sit and contemplate the beauty all around you. For me, the Japanese Garden in Holland Park here in London is one such. No matter what time of year it is, this is always a special place.

In spring, there are cherry blossom trees, just like in Japan. Watching the pale petals blowing in the wind, I always think of the many haiku poems written about them, reminding people of the transience of life both for us and for the blossom. In summer, the cascading waterfall gives a sense of coolness when the air feels too hot to breathe and it’s curiously calming to watch the koi fish splashing in the pond below. In autumn, the fiery reds and oranges of the acer trees come into their own, only to give way to bare branches for winter. Even that is beautiful though in its own way and whenever I go there, I never come away disappointed.

There is peace and quiet for thinking, helping to unravel difficult plot strands, and I often find inspiration for specific scenes here. In the middle of the bustling capital it’s an oasis that feels foreign, and yet familiar. It’s a place where you can’t help but contemplate nature and admire its many guises.

Do you have a place that’s special? Somewhere you go to escape or to think? I’d love to hear about it.

10 thoughts on “Special Places

  1. I go for a walk along the cliff path between Exmouth and Lyme Regis – up there, I leave the world behind and I’m mistress of all I survey.

  2. I’m with Margaret – anywhere near the sea does it for me – but I like cities too. Sitting in front of a special piece of art in a museum can be inspiring.

  3. I like the sea, but I need trees. My favourite place to go to escape and think is the not-so-special woods and fields surrounding my village. Not-so-special to anyone else, that is, but I’ve been walking there for as long as I can remember, and I feel a bit proprietorial about them: they’re my woods!

    Plus, they’re quiet enough that I can wander around muttering to myself, and occasionally singing, and no one can hear me!

  4. I like all your special places – they sound great! There’s definitely something special about the sea, it’s mesmerising isn’t it, but having grown up near the huge Scandinavian forests, I think I too need trees 🙂

  5. Japanese gardens always seem so tranquil. My special place is everywhere, I just walk outside and look at the beauty around us. Wherever we are in the world there is always something beautiful to see, just look up.

  6. Chris – you are lucky, it must be a great view!
    LindyLou – yes, Japanese gardens were definitely made for thinking in, they’re very peaceful. But you’re right, it’s possible to find beauty everywhere if only we look!

  7. Lovely photo, Christina! I can escape anywhere – it’s all in my head – but have always had a soft spot for Scottish highlands and islands and the Lake District.

  8. Oh, yes, love the Scottish Highlands too! Absolutely gorgeous, aren’t they.

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