Turning on the news lately makes me want to scream, but like a tragic roadside accident, I cannot look away. There is so much that I want to say, but I can’t. I am afraid that if I open the floodgates even a little, I will never be able to close them again. All of those words, memories and tears will just come falling out and I won’t be able to stop them. So instead, I focus on my happy place.
For years, my happy place was not a real place at all. Instead it was a state of mind that I could take anywhere. I would put my headphones in, open the door and run/walk wherever my feet took me. Somewhere along the way I would find my happy place as the world faded away and I focused on nothing but the music in my ears and my footsteps on the ground. My portable happy place was perfect for my rootless existence. Eventually though, having kids and other responsibilities pushed my happy place further and further out of reach. I no longer had the time to put in headphones and run out the door.
I never really had a physical happy place. At least that’s what I thought. As it turns out, I just hadn’t found it yet. All of that changed when I came here. The first time I ever set foot inside this house, it felt like home. It wasn’t even my home yet, but I immediately felt like this was where I belonged.
This house is not perfect. It is a century old farmhouse with all of the quirks and faults that can come along with that. Still, no matter how many cracks the plaster walls may accumulate, this is a happy house. Generations of families have lived within these walls. This house has weathered storms both inside and out, and it is still standing. It has seen families through the best and worst of times. It has stood through blizzards and hurricanes, floods and fires. Through all of that, this house still stands and it is where my children will grow up. Just like this house, I know my family can weather whatever comes our way, and we will still be standing together through it all.
I still stop and marvel at the historic details and charm of my house. I tell my husband on a near-daily basis how happy I am to live here. If feels almost as if the house has retained all of the positive feelings from the past century, and the walls reverberate with happiness. I never knew that a house could make me this happy.
My happy place extends beyond the physical structure of my house. When I step into my backyard, it feels like I am stepping into another world. Carefully treading over tree roots and a blanket of lush moss, I could easily imagine fairies dancing in the trees. I tell my children that these woods are full of magic, and I believe it myself. Everything feels so free and wonderful in these woods.
From the front of my house, I have a spectacular view looking out over the town I love so much. This town calls itself The Glad Town and strives to live up to that name in every way possible. It has certainly lived up to that name for me. It is a small and walkable town full of quirky mom and pop shops and friendly faces. Everywhere I go there are new and familiar faces waving hello, making conversation, and looking out for one another.
I spent years yearning for a happy place, and what I finally found was more than I ever could have bargained for. This house, these woods, and this glad little town are all my happy places. When I have a hard day or national news starts getting me down, all I need to do is look at the world around me to know that everything will be okay. I can strike up a conversation with friendly neighbors, reflect in the forest or just relax in my happy house.