I have to admit that I have many happy places. These are places in which I feel serenity and peace, and I find myself smiling just being there.
Some of those include: meetings with ladies who share the same desire to achieve serenity as I do (these can be in Tucson, AZ; Franklin, NC; Niceville, FL, etc); Kauai, HI; a cabin in the mountains (in Colorado, North Carolina, Ruidoso, NM, etc.).
Dave and I are spending a family vacation for two weeks in Ruidoso, New Mexico with the dogs. Every day, we take the dogs on a hike----some of those hikes include a concluding jump in the lake (for the dogs, not for us); others take us far into the forests full of pine needle-laden ground, birds calling to each other that echo throughout the canyon, and beautiful wild flowers.
Yesterday, Dave and I took all three dogs (including L.N., who is 12 1/2 years old, and we sometimes call "Grandma") over to Cloudcroft, NM. Cloudcroft is a beautifully quaint small town in southern New Mexico at almost 9,000 feet. While Tucson is currently experiencing around 106 degree temperatures, Cloudcroft was 63 degrees when we got there at 10:00 in the morning, ready for our almost 3 mile hike on a trail we used to hike 20 years ago when we lived in Alamogordo. Then, too, we would go up to Cloudcroft to escape the Alamogordo high desert heat. Yesterday did not disappoint. The scents, sounds and sights almost brought tears to my eyes. Two minutes into the hike, we removed the leashes from our Labs, who absolutely loved sniffing mountain scents that are so incredibly different from our desert wonderland. At one point, we stopped at a viewpoint, at which we could actually see the White Sands National Monument about 36 miles away. Breathtaking! I couldn't quit smiling, and I must have said, "It is so beautiful here" 10 different times.
Today, we went up to Sierra Blanca, which, in the winter, is the home to Ski Apache, the most southern ski resort in the United States. In the summer, it is home to some of the most beautiful hiking around. We began our hike at 9,600 feet and hiked about 3 miles. Yes, the altitude affects our breathing, but what I could not get enough of were the breathtaking views of glorious meadows filled with colorful wildflowers (some as tall as we were) and, as we climbed higher and higher, the views as we looked down at least 3,000 feet to Ruidoso, NM. Once again, I couldn't keep from smiling, especially as I watched our two youngest Labs running freely through meadows that, in winter, are ski runs. It simply bears stating that these are the ski runs that Dave and I skied 26 years ago. We even got engaged in 1992 here. So, no small wonder I feel like this area is another one of my happy places.
What about you?
I have a firm belief that each one of us needs a happy place. I pray you have one. If not, I pray you find one soon!