I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of donors at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The title of my talk was:” What is a Heart Place?” I shared the many events of my life that happened at the Arboretum and how collectively those experiences shaped me as a youth and adult. I also reflected on how the arboretum has been a part of me no matter where I’ve lived. It is part of the fabric of who I am.
Do you have a heart place? Or like me, do you have multiple heart places?
After the talk, many people from the audience thanked me for putting the words and images that captured their own experiences of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It made me wonder, how many people have a heart place. In preparation for this talk, I’ve been asking people about their heart places. Do they have places that shaped their identity, hold heartfelt memories and continue to be a source of rejuvenation?
For some people the answer is immediate. “ The rivers of Idaho are my heart place”. “I have so many memories of hiking in the Sierras, it must be my heart place.” “The Blue Hills of Maine are where my heart longs to be” “My heart place is in my garden”. “My heart place is Point Reyes”. What seems to weave together all these heart places is twofold. First, a sense of simple joy that comes from thinking about the place and second, returning to the place over and over for rejuvenation.
Do you have a heart place? What about it is important to you? When was the seed of this heart place planted? What stories do you recall from being in that place? What are the threads that weave together your experiences…love, loss, joy, adventure, peace, other? What draws you back to your heart place?
In this age where we can easily be overwhelmed by information. It is good to check into your heart place physically or visually. Even a photo can transform you to that place, deepen your breath, and recharge your batteries during a busy day. How do you connect with your heart place when you are not there?
Take a moment to think about those small and larger heart places in your life. Then share your stories. What is your heart place? I’d love to hear about your place.