Last Tuesday, author Kate Messner, co-host of Teachers Write!, challenged us to imagine one of the places we love and describe it with imagery. Below is my attempt. Where are your favorite places? My guess is that our favorite places become our favorites because they appeal to us from several points of entry. It could just be that we are overwhelmed by the sensory imagery of these places, or maybe these places fill a need or hold a sentimental place in our psychology. I contend that in addition to the senses and psychology, I feel like I’m on holy ground–more than I usually am and closer to something much bigger in those moments. I encourage you to try this exercise, whether you approach it from your own memory or perhaps from the perspective of a character in a work of fiction you like or are working on.
Sometimes on a sunny June morning in my front yard, I open the screen door quietly and tiptoe out in bare feet carrying faded bluejeans, I inhale the earthy coffee aroma and sip one last time before placing the flat black mug down on the top concrete step.
Sometimes I squat down closer to where the grass meets my sidewalk, behold the sparkling signatures of recently-repaired sprinkler heads still sitting in beads bound by surface tension on slender tender jade tendrils reflecting 30-degree rays of gold like tiny party lights strung across a vast miniature field, celebrating the changing of seasons.
Sometimes I hover my hand over it, in mock blessing, giving thanks for the watering day, the sunshine, and soft fertile soil. I rise, pause, and retreat back to take a spot next to my mug, centering my cup in both hands. I close my eyes and let the choir of robins aloft in the tree wash over my tingling ears.
Sometimes I feel the corners of my mouth curl up in a grin and grateful heart–a reverence eventually broken by a dish connecting with a countertop and a toaster popping somewhere far behind me.