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What is “This Place”?

A happy place. Do we all have one? I think sometimes it’s hard to find. It’s a place where you can feel content, relaxed and happy with yourself, all by yourself and without any kind of entertainment. It’s a place where you can just be.

LaughterWhen I began writing There Is This Place I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I spent some time searching for a storyline; a character to tell the story, but nothing I came up with seem to be working. At that point I simplified it. I wrote one sentence; “This place is simple, this place is special, and this place is magical.” The rest of the book flowed from my fingers after that. I then took a trip back through old sketchbooks and realized that this sentence had pretty much been in those sketchbooks from day one of my university journey. I had expressed it in many different ways and in many different mediums but in no way as simple and as plainly as I had just done through the keys on my keyboard.

What is “this place” the book refers to? The “place” I had been drawing, painting and writing about for 5 years? Is it really a physical space at all or is it a place in your heart, in your soul?

I think “this place” is different for everyone, but the one thing that everyone’s happy places have in common is that it stems from the innocents of our childhoods. The times when our hearts and minds were free of all worry and so freely in love with everything we encountered. The times before the world hardened us and we began to run, breezing by the little things we used to be in love with.

Why do we run everyday of our lives? Why do we forget to slow down and take in the splendor all around us? Why are those small things small at all? They are not small for children … and children are happy.

Perhaps “this place” is childhood. Perhaps a physical space can help us go back to those days, because possibly that physical space remained the same as we grew up. Even though you changed and grew, and people around you came and went, the space stayed the same. For me that place is “The Lake” but pieces of the lake translate into every other place I have been.

So my conclusion is this: “This place” is a feeling. It’s a mindset. It’s remembering to slow down and properly look around. Get out of your mind that is full of worry and irritation and let your heart fill itself again with simple beauty. You will be surprised to find that when you love freely, show compassion to God’s simplest creatures, nourish your heart and soul with kindness, you can find a “happy place” in any place.

2 thoughts on “What is “This Place”? Leave a comment

  1. Dear Jenna
    The last time I saw you was in North Bay in my bathtub.
    I clearly remember it because you refused to sit down in tub. We were watching you while your parents visited a relative. You and our oldest Ryan, were bathing together. I’m guessing you guys were about 2 years old.
    I’m your Mom’s old roommate from Lakehead University.
    How you turned out with such artistic ability I’ll never know considering what I know of your parents. LOL
    Boy could I tell you some racey stories from way back in the 80’s.
    But I won’t. They are locked up in the memory bank.
    Your book and art are amazing!
    Go Home Lake is a special place for me. First time I visited was the summer after graduating nursing school. I was supposed to be studying for RN exams but your Mom showed me how much fun a beer float was. That kept my books unopened. I passed with a high mark anyway. I thought I was going to lake to relax and study but the lake had other ideas. What I got from visit was fun and relaxation. A chance to chill after 4 years of Uni. A chance to bond with Nancy and meet your Grandma. I can still see her sitting on the dock squeezing lemons onto her hair. Then she would sit in sun and hope for bleached hair. I visited 2 other times. The second time I was 5 weeks pregnant with Ryan. It was also the last time I wore a bikini!
    The last time I had my second son, Andrew with me. He was 5 weeks old. A very special memory for me as he passed from Cancer at age 9.5 years.
    Jenna your work is truly breathtaking. Your Mpm and Dad must be bursting with pride.
    I will definetly order a few books.
    Please say hi to your parents for me. I miss them and think of them often.
    All the best for your bright future.
    Sincerely,
    Janice Lemieux

    • Janice! It is wonderful to hear from you! My mom has always talked of you with such love and fondness. Whenever one of your letters or cards would come in the mail she would always be very excited to read them!
      Please, I would love you to email me at this address… jenna@jennastewart.ca and we can chat further!
      All the best and thank you so much!
      Jenna

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