Running across a deserted South Coast beach on a rainy November day is the stuff my dreams are made of. It’s these sort of stories I want to fill the pages of my life with.
Stories from a Happy Place
The wind is strong, I can feel it pushing back. Leaning against it, I feel it holding me up. The resistance making me know what it means to actually touch the world, to be in it. To be a part of the invisible forces that keep the world spinning.
The sea is crashing, it’s the only thing that I can hear above the wild wind.
Its strength is pretty scary, the coldness would shock, and it would be a short sharp gasp for breath, but you wouldn’t last long. Not on a day like today. Even the spray is volatile. Erupting and crashing into the sky. Foaming and vomiting.
It sounds like music to me.
Daring to get closer. Dancing with the tide, I inch nearer. Getting as close as I can to feel alive. Me and the sea. Twisting and twirling in motion together. Until eventually, I’m backing away to the safe, soft parts of the sand.
With no one around, I’m running free and light. Like a bird. Like a toddler. Dipping and diving around the seaweed and washed-up driftwood. I play in the raw elements of winter. Stopping only to look up to the sky, unsure if it’s the rain or the confetti salt spray, I feel splashing on my face. I raise my arms and keep dancing across the sand, screaming laughter into the wind. My sounds absorbing instantly. My screams melting into the wind, into the sea, into the wildness of winter. A reminder of how small I really am. How big and wide the world really is. It knows a thing or two about perspective, and it is teaching me time and time again about my place in the world.
I’m in my happy place.
These are my Stories from the South Coast
For the last few years, we’ve visited Devon in November. Sometimes blessed with crisp blue skies and sunshine, and we’ve embraced days of relentless rain with waterproofs and fluffy socks. I love these rainy beach days the best. When no one else dares leave the warmth of home. On a random Tuesday when most people wouldn’t bother with the walk, they’d rather look at the weather on an app. But I like to feel the weather. Dance in it. Those are my favourite days. With the faintest scent of a crackling pub fire in the air and the possibility of a post-walk pint on my lips. Those are the days I love.
The days where I feel my place in the world, as I’m battered with the elements and the pure natural beauty of the land. I can breathe and laugh and smile and cry and it’s all held up by the wind, by the sea. By the freedom and space, only the very ends of our earth can provide. Where the tangible land beneath our feet meets the depths and expansive nothingness of the sea. Pushing me to see my smallness and the vast open-world that lays beyond.
Where is Your Happy Place?
Where can you go to feel restored? Where do you run to, to fill up? You should write about it. Document it. The perspective it provides helps you to know what makes you feel good.
When you can see on the page, when you can speak with clarity about the places that bring you to life, when you can know what gives you life, then you can recreate it. It might be the Devon coast that made me feel like this the most recently. But I’ve felt it as I’ve walked on the pebble dash beaches of Anglesey, as I’ve dangled my toes into the ocean that licks the Sunshine Coast and as I’ve shut my front door and walked out into the winds of Derbyshire. Because I know what I need to feel free. And Once you’ve captured it on the page, you’ll never lose it. You’ll keep coming back to it. Time and time again, until you find that same sense of home within yourself.
Writing About What You Love
You see, when you write about what you love. When you write about the places, the people, the memories, and the moments that make you. You grow a stronger sense of gratitude. Of anticipation. Not only does it allow you to look back with fondness, but it also allows you to long for it. And then become even more grateful when it comes into fruition. You learn to live a life worth writing about.
Writing down your stories and your memories teaches you about who you are. It shows you what you love and how you spend your days. Allowing you to physically make your mark on the world, as you etch your version of truth onto the page. Writing to prove you’re here. You exist. Your story matters. You’ll gain a whole new perspective and a whole new grounding.
So, here’s my challenge to you. Where is your happy place? What makes you feel alive? What’s your story of the places you love? Write about it and see if you can bring a part of it home. Make it a part of you. Turn it into a story and document your life.
Stories From A Backpack is a place that celebrates the process of documenting our life through stories. You don’t have to see yourself as a writer to want to document your life. You can start to save your memories and share your story today. Become an Everyday Storyteller by writing about your life. Your story matters and Stories From A Backpack is a here to help you live a life worth writing about. Join our monthly newsletter to become an Everyday Storyteller with us. Or buy the book Everyday Storytellers and learn how to turn your memories into stories.