My two favorite locations are Long Pond and my Horse’s paddock. Both the pond and the paddock are peaceful in their own ways. The tranquility of the pond promotes feelings of serenity which helps me to feel more in touch with myself while the paddock instills a sense of calm composure and inner stillness. Although the Pond and The Paddock, seem to be two very different places, they impact me in similar ways.
The scenery of each location offers its own individual beauty and unique way of promoting my feelings of calmness and peace. I love sitting on the open, rocky shore of the pond. I can see the minnows flashing through the water and the frogs sitting on the shore, their yellow throats heaving. Painted turtles bob around in the lily pads as loons dive for fish in the afternoon sun surfacing now and again to call hauntingly to each other. In the spring a blue heron quietly waits to catch fish from time to time and on rare, lucky days, a bald eagle captivates me with his regal presence. I love watching the reflection of the trees and the way that the water sparkles like diamonds; inspiring my creativity, imagination, and wonder. However, when I sit on my rock in the Paddock, I become very grounded and still. I am surrounded by trees. The branches and leaves form a natural canopy that shelters me from the sun and the rain. The texture of the tree’s bark form faces and patterns that I can touch so that I can feel their essence through my fingertips; the trees seem to breathe as the intensity of the colors vibrate. The pine needles on the ground form a natural, soft blanket that makes me feel like I could lay down and go to sleep, unlike the hard, pebble shore of the pond. Time stands still when I am in the paddock, everything takes on a surreal quality.
Both the Paddock and the Pond have their own individual smells, too. The smell of fresh pond water is very different from the smell of fresh leaves and pine trees in the Paddock but they both smell fresh. All the different smells permeate my nostrils make me breathe in deeply which clears my head and promotes a feeling of calmness.
The fluidity of the Pond water promotes feelings of creativity in contrast to the solidity of the trees in the Paddock, which promote feelings of safety. I feel protected and safe in the seclusion of the paddock in contrast to the openness of the pond. I cannot be seen when I am sitting on my rock in the Paddock. The rock is at the bottom of a small hill, surrounded by trees, a cabin, a tack room and my horse Blue’s shed. The pond on the other hand, is open and I feel more exposed, so when I am feeling vulnerable, I will go to the seclusion of the paddock instead of the openness of the pond. Yet, when I am feeling more open, and need to feel inspired, I will sit on the shore of the Pond. I also feel protected by Blue when in the Paddock, as it is his territory that I am sharing and he is very protective of me. When others come into the paddock and I want to be alone, he will chase them away, as he seems to know when I feel threatened and need to be alone.
Companionship is something I seek when I go to the Paddock instead of solitude at the Pond. In the paddock, I can brush Blue or we can go for a walk through the woods and play together. Whereas, I swim or go out in the boat alone on the Pond. Companionship and feelings of connectedness are promoted from spending time with Blue in the Paddock, unlike the feeling of complete aloneness when I snorkel underwater in a subterranean world where there are no humans.
Both the Pond and the Paddock offer their own freedoms. I can go out in the boat to feel free in the same way that I can ride Blue to feel free. In contrast, riding in a boat is different to riding an animal. Riding in the boat on calm water does not compare to the exhilaration of riding on the back of an unpredictable, ‘Blue’.
So, when I am feeling stressed, I have two very different, favorite places that I go to. Although they offer contrasting atmospheres, scenery and activities; in comparison, they both relax and calm me down. The Pond like the Paddock, both promote wonderful feelings of serenity that keep me returning to them again and again and again.