Today I went to my favorite place in the world: the biosphere in Sian Kaan. But the place doesn’t matter. We all have favorite places. The important thing is to go.
How could we not? Easily. Life takes over: responsibilities, the belief that we don’t deserve to go with so much on our plates. But the best time to go is when you have so much on your plate. With that break from your plate being oh-so-full, you get perspective. You get distance. You regroup to get back in the game at your full potential.
This special place of mine speaks to every part of my soul. When I go there, I am in my element: the middle of nothing and the start of everything. I am in one of the largest wetland systems in Mexico surrounded by water, grass, mangrove trees and myriad unseen mammals, amphibians, fish and birds hiding in the brush. I am their uninvited guest and I love being the voyeur at their party.
I get into a skiff with a captain and almost always someone else. But each of us is alone in thoughts and experiences. After the tumult at the start and crossing a small lagoon, we enter a canal and are surrounded by trees so special that I cry to see them: the mangroves. In this my special place, I apologize for my species and their disregard for these “swamplands” where they routinely cut and fill. I lovingly touch the mangroves bleached branches and shiny leaves and say “forgive them, they don’t even know what they are doing”. Then I send love. I send love from every pore of my being.
Love oozes out of me as after crossing another lagoon in the small boat, I jump into the water and I float under the mangrove trees alongside their finger like branches looking for the next place to root. They are filled with nests and orchids and bromeliads. Privilege and gratitude overwhelm me. I cry for pure joy. I put my face in the water to wash the tears and as I open my eyes I see the orchids pushing flowers through to the tops of the mangroves: May. The month of flowers. These amazing flowers push upward and then descend toward me and take my breath away. So I float on my back to see them better. I drift and notice and hear nothing but the wind in these amazing trees and across the grass. And I forget all the troubles, schedules, demands, responsibilities and stuff I need to do. I relax. I let go. I heal my inner being. Actually this place heals my total being when I let myself go there.
Why I wait so long is anyone’s guess. But the fact that I have my place, that you have your place, means we have the cure, the antidote. We have what we need. So when you’re feeling stressed, blue, uncertain, sick and tired, go to that place as soon as you can. Feel better. It makes no sense not to.