for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.
e e cummings
from ‘maggie and milly and molly and may’
It’s strange the places you can find yourself most connected back to yourself. It’s often unexpected.
As e e cummings notes, the sea for me is a perfect place to reconnect and centre. A walk along the beach collecting shells enacts a sense of also collecting myself. Whether it’s the time alone, the feel of cool sand against my feet, the touch of water, I become grounded again as I walk along the shoreline.
But I have been mostly inland of late and recently travelled to western New South Wales to Broken Hill. It was for work, a quick trip and mostly busy, but I had a strange sense of connection there. Perhaps it was the still warmth after so much cold; perhaps the wide open blue skies and sense of space; perhaps the architecture of a time I love I felt so comfortable within; perhaps being surrounded by a timeless landscape. Perhaps the light, the air, the warmth of the people reflecting the temperature. Maybe the quirky paintings, the retro pubs, the places that had stayed just so, caught in time. Or maybe just a perfect sense of timing, of time alone catching up with me in an environment I could correspond to and place myself in, like the final piece of a puzzle settling in.
I flew out likewise with a sense of warmth and light, more connected with myself and redolent with the atmosphere of a new place I will return to for more exploration of both its landscape and architecture as well as my own.
Where have you found yourself in unlikely places? Share your links, stories and reads about finding yourself in likely or unlikely places!
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I’ll add more as they come to hand!