Just Look...

Just Look...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Psychology of Place

I'm really interested in the psychology of PLACE. I'm actually really interested in all psychology, but I love to consider the effects that certain locations have on us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically.

I have a place that matters more to me than any place in the world, no matter how far and wide I have and will travel. It's only about an hour and fifteen minutes from home It is a second home about an hour and fifteen minutes away. My very first visit is one I don't even remember. It took place almost 38 years ago, in the summer of 1977. My mom was five months pregnant with me and it was the first time the family had vacationed in this little riverside, mountainous village of rustic cabins and breathtaking views.

Since that visit, Bear Paw has been the site of 37 years of full family vacations, the source of millions of memories, and the foundation of family life for years to come. Mom and Dad even bought a cabin there during my later years of high school and since then, our visits are far more frequent than once a year. Over time, family friends have come to love Bear Paw as much as we do.

Mother's Day weekend is a time that we always spend at the cabin. However, graduation was Friday night, so we went up Saturday morning instead. We went straight to the flea market and lunch in Murphy, then on to the cabin. I walked through the doors and sat down on the couch when something almost supernatural happened. I could literally feel the end of the year tension and sadness over the departure of my seniors just fade away from my body. Before I knew it, I was nodding off. I slid down from my seated position to rest my head on a pillow. From that point on, I was out. I woke up about two hours later, completely rested and with my very soul at peace.

Today we took the boat out and my goodness, it was good. Water soothes me like nothing else can and today was no different. In fact, the entire story behind this blog originated on that river! At one point, I sat with my feet dangling over the side of the boat and looked out across the water, and I wondered about the psychology of place. Am I so at peace in this place because I revert to an almost childlike state of mind and heart when I am there? Does it just represent happy times and special people to me? I don't know. I just know that being there provides me with the purest oxygen, the lifeblood to my soul.