THE HAPPY PLACE
I see a hilltop on the horizon. A lot of green and bits of white thrown into its midst. There are wild flowers of every colour whose names I do not care to know. They belong exclusively to this hill, to me. I feel a wind blowing across my face, beckoning me to come closer. It is not too cold, neither too warm. Just the perfect balance for a cozy welcome. An ageing cabin sits atop the hill, voicing it’s gratitude through a timeless wind-chime that sings of its legacy. I see myself standing very close to this hill, to this indescribable picturesque of a place. And then I turn back.
Does my happy place seem too clichéd an image? My apologies if it does. It is immaterial what I see when I close my eyes. It is why I see it that matters.
I have a life much like yours. And just like you, not everything that I do gives me the satisfaction I so dearly crave. There are times when my patience and endurance is stretched to the point that I fear I might snap. I might let go of the last bit of civility that makes me human. Faced with the possibility of such a mishap, I scramble for ways to hold on. Because I have responsibilities to fulfill, etiquette to maintain, a stomach to fill.
So I need a way. A way to hold onto my sanity in this lunatic world. I try taking deep breaths. I try the occasion cigarette. I try all remedies that are temporary. But what is it that stays? What is it whose effect lingers on even after I’ve stopped summoning it? It is nothing but my happy place. And what does it comprise exactly? A parallel universe constructed around someone’s else’s imagination? A tranquil image out of a favourite book? No. It is but your deepest, most honest and selfless desire. It is that first thought after closing your eyes that brings a smile to your lips.
A happy place, for want of a better word, is more than just a place, and sometimes not a place at all. It can be anything. It can be a person. It can be a pet, it can be the sound of autumn leaves on a deserted pavement, it can be a unicorn under a rainbow for all I care. But it must be something. It mustn’t be empty. Or perhaps sometimes, empty is all it can be.
I go to my happy place not just when I’m sad. I visit it when I’m happy too. I keep a part of me stored in the archives of that cabin. I whisper my joys to the wind-chime and I ask it to keep playing them until i return again. I lay on the velvet grass at all times of the day, whenever I want to, no matter where I am. I feel its wind on the hottest of days, on the most sultry of nights. And all because I can. Because my happy place is mine and mine only. And nobody has one quite like it.
Someone asked me what I’d do if I ever found a place like that in real life, if I could have the chance to get it just the way I picture it. And I said to him that even if I did, I wouldn’t set foot inside it for one moment. For if I did, I wouldn’t have anything to look forward to anymore. And to live without an elusive dream is no way of living.