Today was a pretty great day.
My arm has finally healed enough for me to out on my bike riding Ciclovia again. I woke up early this morning to do that. I went out for empanadas, a delicious baked pastry filled with beef stuffing, I read for a while in a beautiful park, I had a delicious lunch, and finished a fantastic book while getting a pint.
Still, probably the best part of this very enjoyable day came around 8 am, when I got to a certain quiet place in the city.
About 7 years ago, when my family used to live in the States, I had the only room in the house with a balcony. You could actually jump on top of the balcony and then just drop down to the roof of the garage. My parents hated seeing me do it (of course they did!) so I did it when they weren’t watching. In fact, and I was careful to never tell them this, you could also shimmy up or down a nearby palm tree to climb up to the roof or down to the ground.
One night I went out to a concert a friend was playing in. He’s massively talented, and so even though he was only 14 or so, he was playing for an University concert band. I mention this because, being an University, they had a huge Red Bull truck outside and I got… what’s the word, high? intoxicated? Well, whatever it was, I had one too many cans of Red Bull and when I got home around midnight, I snuck out onto the balcony, sneaked across the roof, shimmied down the palm tree, and walked around my neighbourhood until 2 or 3 am, when I got home in time to get enough sleep to only look nearly dead at school in the morning.
That roof was my favourite place in the world. Some nights, when I wasn’t coked up on Red Bull, I would sneak out my blanket and lie on the roof watching the stars and resting my mind and my soul in the quiet calm of night.
I am very happy living in Colombia and don’t miss much about living in the US, but thinking about that roof makes me hurt sometimes from how much I miss it.
I’ve only had a handful of places like that, and none of them here. At least, not until a few months ago, when I found another special place one Sunday morning while exploring my city a bit on Ciclovia.
I’ll try to avoid specifics about this place since I don’t want to make it easy for stalkers or serial killers to find me in a lonely isolated place.
Anyways, the place I found is at the parking lot of somewhere that closes on Sunday. You have to go down the ramp that would usually lead to the car park, only instead it leaves to a closed gate. I don’t really know what made me ride down there, but once I did I was struck at how peaceful it was.
There are many quiet places in the city, especially at 7 or 9 am, the times I usually ride there on my bike, but there’s something… spiritually quiet about that place. It’s well lit and well ventilated while also being very isolated. I will sometimes sit there for hours meditating, listening to music, or reading. One time I spent nearly 20 minutes watching a beetle crawl across the floor, then be caught by a bird, and then be slowly broken apart cleverly and digested. It was absolutely fascinating.
In this place I feel happy, and what’s more, I feel more like myself than I do anywhere else.
If you’re introverted, y’know that feeling when you’re at a loud party with everyone screaming and dancing, where you don’t know anyone, and no matter how hard you try, you just feel wrong and exhausted and out of place?
This is exactly like that, only the opposite.
Places like these are hard to find, and all the ones I’ve had the pleasure of discovering have been very different, and their only similarity is a stillness and peace that they have about them. I feel very lucky to have one near me.
Do you have, or have you had, a place like this? Do you know exactly what I mean? I’d LOVE to hear about the quiet places you’ve found for yourself, and what you like about them 🙂