Do you have a special place where you can go to find peace and inspiration? Perhaps a spot where you can hear yourself think, listen to your heart beat, find answers to the questions/problems you face and calm your soul?
I live close enough to NYC that I can take the train in to see what is new in my favorite fabric haunts in the garment district or check out the trendy products and displays at ABC Carpet & Home. This weekend I get to go in to take part in the Quilters Take Manhattan conference. All of these places and events are very exciting and inspiring, but my very special place for inspiration is not far from home – the Ken Lockwood Gorge in Califon, NJ. A walk through this hidden natural gem never fails to nourish me in so many ways.
Today was the perfect day to stop and walk down the gorge trail, right next to the Raritan River – not a cloud in the sky, a little cool, a picture perfect early fall day. On my way home from running errands and rushing through my day, my car found its way there. For a little over an hour I slowly walked, enjoyed each turn in the path, noticed how the sunlight changed along the edges of the river, and listened to the sounds of nature. The music alone of the water rushing through the rocks lowers my blood pressure and calms me more than any yoga class ever has.
Although I hadn’t planned on it, I found myself thinking about a design problem I was facing yesterday – one that had me stuck and frustrated and doubting myself. But on the walk, as I looked at the amazing natural world around me, the next direction for that problem suddenly became clear. This has happened to me several times before when I have faced what looked like a dead end. It’s never forced. It’s never anything I set out to find, but there is something about this place that helps me to answer questions and problems, whether they be personal, worldly or related to my work and design projects.
I hope you have a special place too. Whether it’s a beach, or a lake, a favorite museum or book store or a quiet neighborhood path, never underestimate the power it has to renew you. Take the time to go there, if not in person, then at least in your mind.