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My Secret Place

My favorite place is a secret place.
A place deep in the woods in West Virginia.
A place that I have retreated to since I was 15 years old. 

Beyond overgrown trails and through thick rhododendrons you’ll find my special “rock”. A rock so big and so high that you’ll find yourself as tall as the trees that surround you.
The wind so strong that it has the ability to dry an emotion quicker than the tear can even hit your cheek. Strong wind — healing wind.
Cleansing wind. 

This one rock has seen me through multiple life stages.
My teenage confusion stage.
My 20 year old self destructive stage.
My lost 30 year old stage.

It was the first place I stopped upon returning to my home state — after leaving an abusive engagement.
This rock — these winds — these trees … received me just as I was. Beaten down and broken. Sobbing there, in the vacancy — in the openness, I rediscovered my strength. 

It is the place I escape to.
The only place that actually makes complete sense.
It’s wildly quiet. 

It is the place I carried my dog of 15 years to before having to put her down.
The last place I sang to her.
The last place she felt the wind on her face — sniffing into the strong breeze.
This rock — held us together in that moment of “goodbye”.

This favorite place of mine is a secret place.
One that I know others have found — but even in knowing that I still believe that this special place — this favorite place — this secret place…
…is mine.

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