A Place to Heal

There are places where time doesn’t seem to exist.

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The forest outside my front door held that intrigue for me.

When I was younger, the forest outside my front door held that intrigue for me–that “old world” feel that made time stand still. Nothing existed there save me and the cool mountain air. I’d take a book, maybe a snack, and sit beneath my favorite tree for what felt like an endless eternity as I let my soul rest.

Nowadays, it’s harder to find those places.

The world is so fast; every day just flashes by, and I find myself barely holding on as the weeks pass into oblivion and the years become nothing more than a meaningless change of numbers at the top of my journal.

Sometimes I get a day to myself, and I go on long walks in quiet places near my apartment in Jackson–the small park down the street, the forest path leading to a run-down set of train tracks, a forgotten trail extending past the sunset, an underpass with the word featherman spray-painted along its crumbling stone supports–but that doesn’t happen often.

During the semester, everything is too much. Even the weekends are packed full of shopping trips and hangouts and stacks of homework, and I’m left wishing for quiet days on the side of a cold mountain and a crackling fire to bring warmth back to my tired soul. Breaks don’t always help either. It all depends on the place and the people, and often I go somewhere that just leaves me more tired than before.

But this house,  forty minutes from the nearest highway and so far from everything else, is different. I come here with my best friend, Christian, whenever I can, and wish every time that I could stay forever. Time stands still while I’m here, only to resume the moment I leave, as if I’m exiting a magical dome that warded off the issues the rest of the world posited at my feet.

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I fall asleep here too often.

Here, I have a chance to rest and truly not worry about anything else. I forget about school, about anyone and anything outside this house with its warm yellowed lights and constant laughter. Days slip by; I forget the date, the time, the day of the week. It doesn’t matter anyway.

Instead, I write. I play games and watch movies with Christian and her sisters while eating excessive amounts of candy. I sleep all day and stay up all night. I download new music, fall in love with new bands, and eat new foods (gumbo, King Cake, rice and beans). I blanket horses, run through the night while my cheeks turn rosy with cold and my breath crystallizes in the air, write three thousand words a day, regain a muse and lose another, drink too much coffee, and take time to just exist.

Because this is a place where I can heal.

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