Where Do I Go To Write?

For the month of May, my writing prompts will be taken from this website. Today’s is: “Where’s your favourite place to write/journal?”

Near the house where I live now is one of my favorite places to exist. To write. To meditate. To pray. If I walk down the Cardinal Greenway toward downtown and then turn left onto McCullough Blvd, walk toward the park, under the train track trestle, and then step around the concrete barrier to where the dam used to be, I find myself in a place where only I exist. Rarely do I see other people there, and if I do, they are typically fishing quietly, or they are like-minded people with me, who are there to seek solace in the river. There are usually a couple of great blue herons fighting over some fish or frogs, some ducks just floating along, and sometimes a train will pass overhead rocking the trestle and squealing and creaking along the tracks.

I have an affinity for water, particularly flowing water, like big lakes or rivers. When I lived full time in Minnesota, I used to walk down a few blocks to a place where I could sit on a bench and look out at the Mississippi River as it flows lazily along from northern Minnesota to St. Paul toward Grey Cloud Island and then eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. What I could see was a narrow section between I-494 and the old Inver Grove Heights bridge near the oil refinery, but in my mind I could see all the way from the beginning of it to the place where it spilled out into the ocean. Being a lifelong swimmer, water takes me places and soothes me in a way that nothing else does. The water with its quiet for my ears, soft pressure for my body, and weightlessness of spirit humbles me, fulfills me, and makes me think infinitely about life.

My favorite place to write or journal is near the water. I’ve been known to take my notebook in my backpack on my bicycle and just ride until I need to stop along the greenway to sit and look at a farm pond or to find my way to a creek or even a park lake where I might climb to the highest floor of the gazebo. Anywhere, really, where there is water, calls to me as a sacred space in which to record my thoughts.

The sacred space I love the most is at the water’s edge, but currently, as I write this I am sitting in another of my favorite places: in my bed, ready to turn in for the night, with my dog sitting on my feet. Typically, I spend some time reading before I head to bed, but the past week, I have been writing instead. I think they belong together really. Reading fuels writing, writing records the knowledge and wisdom acquired by reading, and then sometimes writing helps to create a type of newness; the two are sacred together, so why not give them to benefit and the luxury of happening in a space that is also sacred? The beauty of journaling is that it doesn’t need a sacred space, but frequently wherever you do it becomes sacred by the mere act of creativity taking place there.

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