Saturday, April 22, 2017

Magical Places

There are places I feel connected to, places that my restless heart grabs onto like a wandering magnet finding its match. I can't explain how or even why, whether it has to do with being an INFJ or if it's just me or if it's something everyone experiences. But there are places in this world that feel like home.



[Pinterest]
Firstly and most obviously: my actual, physical home. When I've been traveling or even just busy, and I finally drag myself through the front door, my whole self just sighs in contentment. (Or relief, let's be honest. #hobbit) It's lived in, our stuff is everywhere, it's comfy, all the sunshine streams through the picture windows in the front, and there are usually the voices of the people I love most filling the rooms.


[sorry, this one and the remaining pics are from Google Images; I saved them
on my phone and neglected to keep the URLS, so I can't give proper credit]

Trees. I'm not a super outdoorsy person, I'm not into camping (though I love the idea of being capable of roughing it), but there's something about a forest that draws me in. Green everywhere. A quiet thrumming of insect wings and birdcalls and paws rustling in the undergrowth and life growing. In a forest, it feels like an adventure could be hiding around any given corner, but it's also a place to pause and drink in the peacefulness.


Water. Not being in it so much as being near it. Put me on the shore of a lake or the bank of a river; send me on a wild goose chase to track down a trickle of water, and I'm happy. The sheer bigness of a body of water whose opposite shore is somewhere unseen past the horizon fills me with awe. Even the sound of snowmelt running down the drainpipes in springtime awakens hope in me.






Mountains. These crop up in my stories all. the. time. and I don't even live near any. I've been amongst mountains so few times I can count them on one hand, but they fill my imagination and utterly fascinate me. Just like forests, they practically sing adventure; and just like water, they are awe-inspiring.




Someplace in the middle of nowhere, on a clear night when the stars are bright and close and the Milky Way breathes brilliant dust across the sky. Living in the city, I don't get to experience this much, and sometimes I stare longingly upward and wish to be away from streetlights. But there was one night in particular, at a tiny cabin with my family, when we lay on the grass and just gazed at the stars for a while. I felt so small. So at peace. So full of wonder.


Cutesy coffee shops awaken a little bit of hipster in me. The smell of coffee grinds . . . the hum of conversation . . . the clink of dishes . . . oftentimes, the rustic timber and adorable knick knacks and the atmosphere of people pausing long enough to enjoy each other's company. Plus, it's kind of the picture-perfect place for a writer to pen those words. (At least, the romanticized writer that proooobably doesn't exist in real life.)


Great architecture & history. Preferably a castle (I've never visited one YET), but I'll settle for legislative buildings, museum buildings, cathedrals, anything made out of stone, anything with arches or domes or spires or tall, skinny windows. Yep. Take me there, and let me stay a good long while to soak in the stories seeping through the walls.





Whichever place on my list I visit, once I'm there, I want to be there long enough to enjoy it. These are the places that make my heart sing, that seem to speak a language without words. Somehow, they fill me with inspiration--magic tingling in my fingertips and fire glowing in my chest.


What are some of the places you love with all your heart? Do we share any?

30 comments :

  1. As someone who has traveled a lot in the US, I can honestly say that I love mountains...and the sea....and the forest (I love camping, but haven't gone in years...I need to go again - writers retreat idea? LOL)

    Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is still one of my absolute favorite spots in the entire world. Though Hawaii was a pretty close one too....

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. The mountains, the sea, forests--SO MUCH LOVE. Although I've yet to travel to any saltwater shores myself. A writer's retreat at any one of those locales sounds lovely.

      From the pictures I just looked up, the harbor at Hilton Head Island looks gorgeous! I love lighthouses.

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  2. This is wonderful. I love mountains so much. I live in Maine about one hour from the sea in one direction and the mountains in the other, so we go whenever we can escape and it is always so worth it. I love nature.
    Your list is great. Maybe I'll have to do one of these in the future on my blog ;)

    thefloridsword.blogspot.com

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    1. Right between two of my favorite things--lucky! I live many hours away from any mountains, and many hours from any coast. XD

      Go right ahead! I'd love to read your list. ;)

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  3. Wow it has been way too long since I read your blog!! But school is out for the summer and I actually have TIME for the first time in what feels like forever! Reading through your list made me feel all nostalgic for all the places I have been where I just completely fell in love with them. Some of my favourites are the ocean (any ocean will do), my Grandfather's cabin, and the prairies - that huge sky gets me every time! I look forward to catching up on your blog and following along for the summer. :D

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    1. Sarah, hello!!!! "For the first time in foreverrrr..." Ahem, pardon the Frozen sing-along.

      Nostalgia is exactly what I was feeling as I wrote it, so I'm pleased it came through. :) I love your mini list! The sky is my favorite thing about the prairies too.

      Looking forward to having you around here! (That reminds me, it's been far too long since I commented on YOUR blog!)

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  4. Oh, Tracey! Somehow this post is like POETRY. ALL your writing is so lyrical and beautiful. This post just awoken my senses and made me want to go trek across the world!!! I totally get this!

    Trees is my BIGGEST one. I can never get enough of trees. I CRAVE being around trees, if that makes sense. Thankfully, I've been blessed to always live in a place with a bunch of trees. I just love them so very much! And forests pop into every novel I've ever written. (I mean, look at Burning Thorns. The whole thing centers around a forest. XD) I'm seriously obsessed! And I, too, am not the biggest outdoorsy person... Give me my bed and air conditioning and hot showers please. XD But TREES. I just love them!

    I also think mountains are amazing. They tend to appear in my novels a lot as well! I've been to the mountains a few times, and they're so...magical. Seeing them from the distance makes you feel so small, but in a good way. While being on top of one is such an adventurous feeling. Mountains are great!

    And sooooo much yes to cutesy coffee shops! I've mourned all my life not having one in my town. *pouts* I'm a writer. It's an inherit need for us, I think. XD

    CASTLES. Castles, castles, castles! I've sadly never been in one either, but I have this burning desire to! I loooove looking up pics online of castles and exploring their interiors and things, because I have such a crazy desire to be inside one. It's so weird!

    Needless to say, I TOTALLY GET THIS POST. Maybe it's a writer thing, having this odd need to be in places we've never even been to. I do this with fictional worlds, too! Some of them just feel like home, and I get this comfort when I read/watch/whatever about certain places. Like Howl's castle in Howl's Moving Castle. That place feels like HOME to me, and I'm always so comforted and at peace when I read about the parts inside it. Does that even make sense? I don't know! We writers are strange beings. XD

    Aaaanyways! I adored this post! It was so inspiring, and made me both want to travel the world AND write about all the things! It was the kind if post that just filled me up creatively!

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    1. Christiiiine, I don't even know what to say! Thank you! <3 *runs off on a trek around the world with you*

      Me too! I wish I lived on a bigger property just so we could fit more trees onto it. (Burning Thorns has a new title: Everyone Goes to the Forest. XDDD) Hahaha, that's so me. I need my mattress, air conditioning, and hot showers, please. So basically let me sleep indoors and then spend my days outside, with an air conditioned place to pop into for short reprieves. XD

      Mountains ARE magical, aren't they? *wistful sigh* When I see them from a distance, they fill me with anticipation. Up close is when I feel small and in awe.

      You don't have any in your town? How sad! Yet another reason for you to come visit moi, because there's a couple nearby. ;D

      CHRISTINE. THAT IS SO ACCURATE I CAN'T EVEN WORD. "Having this odd need to be in places we've never even been to." Yep. Yep. So much yes to that. And Narnia is one of those homes for me, one of those places that calms me. When I'm reading those books, it's like I've constructed my own Narnia in my head, built from the details C.S. Lewis wrote AND my childhood memories--so the feeling is so strong it almost engages my five senses. <333

      Awww, I'm so happy to hear that! Now I'M the one who wants to go travel everywhere and write everything. ^___^

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  5. I live at the edge of the Appalachians, so I'm very used to the mountains (though the ones around me aren't particularly "tall"). I'm definitely fond of hilly or mountainous terrain. For my writing, I tend toward small towns when stories aren't set in the wilderness, though they're still typically larger than the borough of 400ish people that I call home.

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    1. Mountains of any height are wonderful! I even like rolling hills like the ones found in Wisconsin.

      Ah, many good stories take place in small towns. I find it's easier to connect to the setting (as a writer and a reader) when it's a small town instead of a city. That could just be me, though.

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  6. I especially feel drawn to the water, trees, and mountains. Those are comfortable, homey...and yet so wild! Peaceful, but at the same time powerful.

    I also enjoy great architecture and history (I was enthralled by Westminster Abbey!) as well as coffee shops (but of course!). However, they are not my natural habitat.


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    1. Oh yes, everything you said: comfortable, homey, wild, peaceful, powerful. ^_^

      You've been to Westminster Abbey!!! Sounds wonderful! I agree, though, the manmade structures like coffee shops and abbeys offer a different kind of feeling than being out in nature.

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  7. Tracey, this post awakened SUCH a sense of 'fernweh' in me...

    Several of these places reminded me of a feeling I get sometimes - a sort of feeling that reality is a little 'altered'? (to kinda quote something I saw on Pinterest!) It's such a strange feeling, but I find myself looking for it and trying to capture it in my writing.

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    1. Really? Awesome, because that's what I was feeling too! :D

      Hmm, that's REALLY intriguing. What do you mean--altered in what way? When I'm in some of these places, especially the nature ones, I sometimes feel like I'm...almost bigger inside, or that I'm outside myself. No, maybe it's more like I've stopped paying attention to myself, and I'm focused on my surroundings. I don't even know! It's hard to explain!

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    2. I don't know how to explain it either! Maybe 'outside myself'? Maybe more like 'something you'd see on a Pinterest aesthetic board'??? ;P

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    3. Okay, I can see that! Pinterest aesthetic board--lol, that's a great way to describe it! XD

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  8. I'm a water girl too! I love the sound of a trickling brook, or big, foamy waves crashing onto a beach. <3
    Also, coffee shops are my favorite!! I would LOVE to work at one. (Funny, I like the smell of coffee, but not the taste. XD)

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    1. And those are the best sounds to fall asleep to. ^_^

      Oh my goodness, it'd be so fun to work at a coffee shop! I used to be that way about liking the smell more than the taste, but I slowly grew to like coffee. There are still days I choose tea instead, but I do like a good cup of coffee now and then. (But hey, just because you work at a coffee shop doesn't mean you HAVE to drink it! XD)

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  9. All of them except the coffee shop one, probably because one, I don't drink coffee at all, and can't drink anything while I'm writing, not to mention the noise and crowds in places like that. But all the others, yes, definitely. I don't really like being in water if it's much past my knees, or not in the form of rain, but being near it, and playing in it, and seeing it run places, is a good way to start an adventure. We have a grove around our house, and plenty of trees in the river valley, and I do like their company. Mountains I have never seen in person, but I think reading Tolkien will wake up a love for them in anyone. Great architecture is something we don't have a lot of out here, but last month when we went to St Paul's in the Cities that was. . . awe-inspiring. We didn't have nearly enough time to wander through it and take in all the detail. One thing I learned from it, which goes with the idea that setting can be a character, is that in a building like a cathedral, where every little detail has a purpose and nothing's accidental, is you can get so much symbolism into the briefest of scenes, just by having the character interact with a setting like a castle or great church. Not to mention the pure beauty and grandeur to soak in. And a cathedral, whose purpose is to remind man how small he is compared to God, would be a great place for an argument between a Christian and an atheist. Or a castle, with everything in it being for and about the royal family, would make a perfect setting for a meeting between, say, a member or servant of that family, and an anarchist or rebel of some kind. Which is kind of unrelated to the "home" feeling. It's definitely a writer thing.

    https://ofdreamsandswords.wordpress.com

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    1. I myself like having a mocha or chai latte as a special treat for SOME writing sessions, but it is harder to write in public places. For some reason, I feel like blogging would be easier than fiction writing in a coffee shop?

      Oh, your area's trees sounds lovely! And goodness, you MUST see the mountains one day! I sympathize with your lack of great architecture, though. I wish North America would create more beautiful buildings meant to last for centuries, like the European castles and whatnot.

      That's a great observation about the symbolism in setting! First of all, I love symbolism, period. But secondly, I also love meaningful settings. I love those ideas!! I'll have to remember that tidbit for later. :)

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  10. Awww. I love this! I remember when I got to visit the Canadian Rockies and see those huge mountains I was just in aw! It was a wonderful experience. Then when I was in France and got to see the architectural beauty that is the Notre Dame. It took my breath away, I love traveling. ^ ^ Thanks for sharing!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. D'awww, thank you! The Rockies are the only mountains I've been to thus far, and I love 'em too. You've been to France?? :O That's so awesome! I'd love to travel abroad one day.

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  11. Awesome post, Sweater-Wearer! XD All those quotes are so bitter-sweet. Especially the last one. :') I think I feel almost all the same about all that stuff you said. :D

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    1. Thanks, Bunnyhug! ;D I knoooow, that last one makes my heart twinge a little bit. <//3

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  12. Mountains, OH the mountains! How I miss them and they feel like home! I lived near the Alps for 6 years when I was young. Every now and then I search for them on the horizon and pretend the gathering clouds could be them.
    Forest and water are equally magical, and of course cover mountains, so those are all my favorite things. :) It seeps into what I write, a lot.

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    1. You lived near the Alps? THAT IS EPIC. I sometimes pretend the clouds are mountains too. There's something about them that just screams adventure!

      It's kind of neat how the things we love wind up in our writing, and we don't always intend for it to happen. :)

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  13. I have been meaning to comment on this for ages but never did!! This post really resonated with me, Tracey! It was just... *happy sigh* lovely.

    Mountains are just gorgeous and FORESTS ARE MY NATIVE HOME, OBVIOUSLY and water, eeeep!!! I love water! Like you said, not NECESSARILY being IN it, but being NEAR it... ahhhhh!!!

    Also FERNWEH!!! That needs to be more of a thing!! And coffee shops are so aesthetic! *nods* *whispers* even though I've never actually been in one... *flees premises*

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    1. Awwww, that's wonderful. <333 Thank you!

      I just randomly realized that's one reason I love Narnia and LOTR: BECAUSE MOUNTAINS, FORESTS, AND WATER ARE EVERYWHERRRRRE. :D

      Isn't it such a great word? I love it. Wait...you've never been in a coffee shop? Ever? KAYLA MARIE. GO FIND ONE NOW. Shoo! ;)

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    2. Yes!! Both are such lovable worlds!

      Nope, never! Perhaps because I don't like/drink coffee???

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    3. But there are other things besides coffee to be found in coffee shops! Tea, hot chocolate, frappuccinos, and desserrrrrrt... <3

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