“Find your place of peace. Imagine yourself on a beach, or in a forest…”

The teacher didn’t want to get too prescriptive, to let us each find our place. But for those that might be lost, she offered generics. I lay on the mat, eyes closed.

It might say something about me that I didn’t go to a beach. I dropped myself right to the heart of a very big city. I hadn’t been looking for this place when I first found it in Chicago, back in my early twenties. I was simply wandering around my new city, without a plan, map or directions.

I can’t recall what the entrance is like. In my mind, there must be a hidden gate. One minute I was in a regular city park, with sand volleyball, and hot dog vendors, frisbee dogs, cops on bikes. And then I wasn’t. I was on the other side of something.

The park within the park was thick with leaves. Perhaps there was enough foliage and ivy to drown out the honks and hollers. At the center of it all was a tiny pond. I found a neat stack of flat smooth rocks, perfect for sitting. I may have been there for five minutes, or days. I may have time-traveled there from the future, to a way back time before noise swallowed up cities. I forgot about a lot of things. My shit job. Rent. All of that. Here was what being transported felt like.

I couldn’t tell you how to get there, except in your mind. Imagine greens of all shades. Imagine sun spots dancing on water. Imagine you’ve been in the chaos of a city, then dropped straight into the very definition of tranquility.

I tried to draw a map so you could find it. It’s not to scale. The landmarks have been eroded by years of memory, like Lake Michigan washing over them for eons. But if you land in Lincoln Park, in need of quiet, you might make sense of this.

Funny, of all of the places I’ve been – the back-country hikes, the desert walks – this is where I go when a yoga teacher asks me to seek peace.

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Prompt: “The backyard of your childhood home. Your favorite hidden outdoor spot. The strangest room you’ve ever spent the night in. The best bike ride route through town. Draw a map of a special, memorable, or unique location – and describe it. What stands out strongest? What sights, smells, and sounds were you surrounded by? How did you find out about a place, or what was your initial reaction? What time of day is ‘prime time’? Draw a map, then paint us a (word) picture.”  This month’s prompt came from Rebecca Huehls.