9

April

My Outdoors Happy Place

Thursday April 9, 2020


The other day I heard someone mention their happy place. It got me thinking. Do I have a happy place and why do I feel safe and happy when I'm there?

I realised I actually have several and each makes me feel happy in a slightly different way, or I use them for different times of the day, or times of the year. They all have one thing in common though – I find myself singing to myself when I'm there.

My number one outside happy place must be my allotment. I have had it now for the past seven years and it has become an essential part of my life. It is just a couple of hundred metres from my home, in a field overlooking a stream, some woods, some houses and the main railway line. From it you can hear the world go by, watch buzzards and butterflies and ponder. I think the idea is that you work hard growing things there, but pondering and pottering are also pretty important too.

I find that even when the world seems to have gone totally mad, or I feel I have totally stuffed up my life and nobody loves me, it always needs me and appreciates me. I can go down there and feel good that I am out in the fresh air, growing my own food, appreciating the wildlife and having contact with lots of like-minded, kind and generous people. It is amazing how I can lose track of time there. Often I tell myself I'll just pop in to collect something for supper and then three hours later realise that I have missed my lunch and am dying of thirst. The worries of the world outside cease to exist.

My mind often wanders while I weed. All sorts of creative ideas pop into my head, things to do, things to make, people who it would be good to get back in touch with. By the time I am ready to leave, I have a list of enjoyable things to keep me occupied when I go home and that helps make me happy too.

For times when life is particulary stressful, I have developed the art of channelling my anger and frustration into vigorous digging. Work colleagues, irksome neighbours and major failures in my life have all unknowingly been buried beneath the potatoes over the years. I find that there is nothing like a strenuous work out with a spade to exhaust any emotion. When I see how much better the bed looks at the end, it always gives me a wee thrill of satisfaction that I haven't been wasting my time.

Perhaps what makes me happiest though is how the garden rewards me for all I do for it. I just put the seeds in and water and stake the plants and talk to them regularly. They do the hard work and grow and flower and produce delicious things to eat. A bit like a pet, my vegetables are always pleased to see me. But I prefer them to a pet, because if I am too busy to get to tend to them for a few days, they normally don't mind much; in fact they just keep on growing regardless.

Do you have places that make you feel particularly happy? Can you put your finger on why that is? It'd be interesting to know what they have in common.

Pippa
A Moodscope member.

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