Where’s your happy place? Is it somewhere outside under a deep blue sky or is it tucked away in a cozy indoor enclave?  Is your happy place filled with lots of people, a few, or a party of one? Does your happy place shift and transform depending on your age or stage?

Memories of A Happy Place

My happy place takes me back to a singular day in spring, pre Y2K. My husband and I decided to take a daytrip (pre-kids), to a winery located an hour from Boston, Massachusetts. We packed some snacks, and a sturdy blanket anticipating enticing picnicking opportunities described within the winery brochure.

A New England Daytrip

Arriving exactly one hour at a winery sign off the main highway, we turned down a gravel road driving for a mile or more until we reached a grassy parking lot and another winery sign. We parked and walked along the road towards the entrance, pebbles crunching under our feet. A touch of sweetness filled the air. The physical presence of the winery did not disappoint. Within the winery compound stood several older-shingled, barn-like structures. People were filing in and out of the building with the sign “General Store”.

The larger of the two barns was a distillery where the winery’s signature apple wine was produced. We joined a distillery tour group that was just forming. Samples of apple wine were complimentary to those completing the tour, which of course, led to us purchasing a bottle.

Tooling around the General Store, we purchased a few knickknacks. Immediately outside the store, were some local vendors selling wares. One woman was selling jewelry. Stopping to look, I was impressed by the quality. It was all handmade—earrings, pendants, and bangles. One brooch that caught my eye was a golden maned lion with its tail curved all the way up to its head, intertwining with the mane. Loving it instantly, I bought it.

The day was turning out to be balmy—gently warm, sunny—not enough for a hat or sunglasses. The weather was just enough where one would say, after stepping out of one’s home, “What a pleasant day” and then go about one’s activities without any more notice to the weather at all. We found a nice patch of grass, pulled out our blanket, and opened our snacks, as the band—comprised of a banjo, a fiddle, and a guitar began to play.

Everyone was tapping their toe or clapping their hands to the music. A few couples got up and danced, spinning their significant other around as a dandelion seed spins in the wind.

I looked up. The clouds were such a brilliant, puffy white floating in a sea of blue, that I imagined reaching out, pulling them close, and nuzzling them to me. I caught my husband smiling at me. “Why are you smiling?”

“I’m smiling because you’re smiling. You look happy.” He tells me, grasping and holding my hand in his.

Whenever I wear my lion brooch I remember my happy place where I spent a best afternoon with my soulmate, a jamboree and a glass of apple wine.

Send me your happy place stories. I’d love to hear them.

~ Amara