The Dukh Niwaran Gurudwara in Patiala, Punjab, India where my university is situated. I’m an atheist but the place really fills in me a sense of peace.
Dukh Niwaran literally means ‘removal/deterrence of sadness’
It’s a beautiful place that is open to people from all backgrounds, it has ‘langar’- free food for all. Peaceful music is playing in the background at all times.
My favorite spot for forest solitude doesn’t have a name except for the one I gave it: my Thoughtful Spot (yes stolen straight outta Winnie the Pooh )
My TS is a pulloff along a road in a state Forest in the mountains west of my home. It is in the bottom of a steep valley, mountains pressing in on both sides. A creek that runs down the mountain passes less than two feet from the vehicle pulloff. And a small waterfall flows down right at the pulloff.
I flop on the ground next to the waterfall and just relax. The trees, the water… my tiny Heaven on Earth.
In Memphis there are a lot of beautiful places for Waldeinsamkeit. My current favorite is the Vollentine-Evergreen Greenline, a walking-biking trail in Midtown Memphis. On most weekday afternoons, it’s pretty much deserted. There is urban art, the bridge over Lick Creek, a butterfly garden, an old railroad stationhouse, and a glorious arching tunnel of trees, and the occasional bench if you want to sit and and soak it all in.
Nothing I’ve found anywhere in the world quite beats snuggling up to a giant redwood while listening to a stream gurgle close by. The smell of an ancient forest changes your brain chemistry. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is one of the lesser touristed spots to get your inner tree hugger on. And the place of many of my childhood Alice in Wonderland type adventures.
Image courtesy of:
When I was a child we visited family in the mountains of
I was struck then, and still love the sound…of wind
wind moving through evergreens…the sigh it made…
a bubbling brook, water icy, near their home
All of it remains fixed in my mind to this day.
Recently my sister and I visited the area and nothing has changed despite the decades that have passed since we were last there.
I live in an area with virgin evergreens and love the sigh they
make as the wind moves through them. There is no other
sound nature makes quite like it
So am not at liberty to say where.
Its a quiet meandering stream above 6000 feet. Thick with spruce and moss.
Theres a deep feeling of being inside the forest here. The gentle wind brushing the needles of the trees. The trickle of the stream that flows clear as glass.
The earth mother sees me here. The trees speak peacefully here.
I feel like a guest. Yet i know im home
I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. In the summertime, there are many tourists, but in the wintertime it’s perhaps more beautiful. The sunrises are spectacular. My sacred alone time I find on the beaches in the winter on the Outer Cape. Many times there is no one but me, the wildlife and the waves.
I find loneliness in the villages of Buzau moutains Romania. Of course there are other mountains too, but my native place is here. When you are in such a forest you get lost, you loose yourself entirely.
My little Waldeinsamkeit is in our modest back garden in Alameda, California. Right now it’s February - the garden is mostly winter dormant and the roses and arbutilon are pruned back, the bulbs just beginning to send up shoots, but it’s still a peaceful meditative space for thought and observation. The fountain splashes, the wind chime plays soft scales, flocks of birds visit my feeders, hummingbirds buzz by, and my pug nestles next to me on the garden bench. In summer the garden is a riot of color, birds, and butterflies, but at this time of year it’s a simple place of contemplation.
I lived in Cameroon for awhile. It was a wonderful experience but there were, of course, challenges. I started going on walks in the early morning (as soon as the sun rose, five thirty am or so) to clear my mind. There was a mountain road that went I-don’t-know-where. The longest walk I ever took may have been two and a half hours. The further I walked on the road, the longer my walks became, and still, I wanted to know always what was just around the next corner. It was one of the most peaceful times of my life.
living in Philadelphia, the NJ Pine Barrens are also where i go to spend a few hours seeing little to no people! Theres lots of places to go to see different eco systems, hike for a while (easy, flat hiking), catch some chain pickerel, see wetlands, walk through old cranberry bogs, swim in clean but brownwater (tannins and iron)…and otherwise be “blissfully alone” in the most densely populated state!
Even though it has been years and years since I lived in Michigan, the place my mind flew to is similar, Jennyblue84. I lived on Mackinac Island one summer years ago, and I had a tiny hidden beach area near the park ranger nature station where I worked. That was one of my peaceful places on the island, but also the hiking trail up in the forest of the island, walking along with the ravens who would call to me, made me feel so much a part of the earth.
We used to love Monadnock and climbed it every month of the year at one point. Beautiful hiking if you get off the main trails
I haven’t spent much time alone lately, but I’m thinking about it. I live with my mother and she is never away (I also love being with her). Our house is near Brazil’s east coast and I actually want to rent some place close to the beach for a few days to think about my life, do some walks on the beach, and listen only the wave’s sound.
My place is in a hammock on a hill on the Caribbean island of Nevis. I call it The Magical Hammock of Revelation because I always discover something in myself while I’m lying there looking up at the clouds or the stars. The hammock is rocked by tradewinds coming from the east and it’s bounced by a breeze coming off Saddle Mountain from the north. It can sometimes feel like a magic carpet ride. My favorite place in the world.
Sixty years and counting, the rocks on the edge of front beach in Rockport, Massachusetts, is my favorite place to think, look, see, and reflect on my life. I cannot climb the rocks anymore, but the young girl who sat on them many years ago finds such peace and solitude just looking at them.
The ocean is hypnotic…allowing my mind to wander freely.
I keep this photo where I can look at it everyday so I remember to take time to be still, remember and reflect.
Edgar Allen Poe said the Wissahickon Creek (just outside of Philadelphia): “is of so remarkable a loveliness that, were it flowing in England, it would be the theme of every bard, and the common topic of every tongue…” I like to trek all the way up the rough trail side (rather than the smooth and level Forbidden Drive that runs along the creek) and visit Tedyuscung, a 15-foot-tall white marble statue of a Leni-Lenape Native American, who is getting his own dose of Waldeinsamkeit as he surveys the river valley below.
My favorite place to myself is the Japanese Buddhist Sculpture room in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Dark and ambient, most visitors simply walk through, while I sit in the peaceful silence as long as I can.
My Waldeinsamkeit is found in areas with little light pollution at night under the stars. I live just about an hour away from Joshua Tree National Park, which can be crowded during the day but wonderfully deserted at night. I’m often there on those nights when the Milky Way is a magnificent band across the sky from horizon to horizon. The darkness, the solitude, the silence and the stars fill me with peace and wonder, and allow me to indulge my passion of photographing the night sky.