There’s A Place

When you’re feeling stressed, or low, or just need to take some time to breathe – do you have a place you go that helps pull things back into perspective?

I have a place I go that I truly think has saved my life on more than one occasion. It stills the too rapid beating of my heart; offers me solace. It is full of beauty, full of serenity, and best of all, it is free. It is my local park, spreading out like open arms from the waters of the bay; a haven on the harbour.


I have walked in the park in early morning when the dew coated the grass with silver and lorikeets quarrelled while waiting for the sun to fully rise.

I have seen the sunrise pour into the sky like pomegranate juice, staining the sails of the fishing boats, casting shapes that could be human in the sheltered spots under trees.

I have seen the midday sun turning sandstone outcrops white, illuminating the songs and squeals of children; making me unsure whether the sea is glass or light.

I have seen the sun set. A cloth being pulled off a table in one fluid motion; the darkening shadows around the jetty gathering, oily and thick. The sky was a wound, the colour pierced by the black draw of night.

Today I saw an elderly lady walking with her granddaughter, supported by a cane. Yesterday I walked for five minutes, today I will walk for ten, she said. She is recovering from a fall.

I saw seagulls digging their heels into liquid glass like water skiers and cormorants diving for flathead.

I saw a woman with an enormous poodle, both were fluffy-haired and unkempt. From a distance it was hard to tell which was dog and which was owner.

I stood on the wooden bridge that crosses the canal and watched a school of sea mullet munch algae and tiny crabs in the mud. They’re at the whim of the tide, said a man as if it was a bad thing. I can think of nothing more glorious than a life spent drifting with the tide. The rising and falling would make it almost impossible to ever lose sight of hope. You would know what you were in for. Always.

water ripples

This place, this special place means the world. It is easy to pray in such a place. It is easy to believe.

14 thoughts on “There’s A Place

  1. I LOVED this, especially “I have seen the sunrise pour into the sky like pomegranate juice, staining the sails of the fishing boats, casting shapes that could be human in the sheltered spots under trees.” If i were a baser man i’d steal that from you, but unfortunately ma and pa gusmann raised me to be a gentleman.


  2. It is great that you have such a place to go to which helps you to find your center. We all need special places of peace.


  3. Oh Sel, this work brought tears to my eyes. You have such a gift of taking the ordinary and lifting it up to the extraordinary!

    Your park looks divine and what a tribute you have payed to this special place you go for consolation and quiet reflection. I’d love to be able to walk there with you.

    Hugs and Happy Weekend, G 🙂


  4. Oooh and you had me wondering which park it is and whether I went there.

    I’m sorry things have felt so awful lately. You are taking the right approach with regard to your mother it just takes time to work through. It always amazes me how many controlling people there are around – everyone seems to have one somewhere in their family.

    Oh and yes I do have a place I go just to chill and be me. In Freo it was my bench overlooking Dog Beach, here it is the wood.


  5. It’s a pity you didn’t live in Adelaide, because there’s such a place there … the Himeji Japanese Garden. The thing being, Japanese gardens are designed to encourage relaxation and contemplation.

    (There’s a Japanese Garden at Heale House, near me, too … but you have to pay to get in there!)


  6. Wow! I can feel the serenity even right here. In that kind of environment. you do not find your peace but yourself.



  7. oh i would love to have such a place.. here i sit surrounded by beauty and i never go out alone to just walk in it… i did get a walk on the beach this week with a friend and that was bliss…..


  8. Selma , thank you for sharing your place with us. I was able to picture myself there …..if only for just a moment. Great writing


  9. JASON:
    Thank God for perfect gentlemen. Truth be told, someone’s probably already stolen it and more. I’m sure all of us who put our work out there on the net risk that every day. I am delighted you liked that image.

    I do love that park. It is really big too. There are mangroves and all sorts of things going on there. I am lucky to live where I do when I think about it.

    It is invaluable in that regard. It has helped me through so many difficult patches. For a public place it is very Zen. Many people I know comment on that aspect of it.

    Now you’re going to make me cry. You are awesome, G. No doubt in my mind!

    You may have gone there. It’s Jubilee Park on the Glebe foreshore. It’s directly across the water from the fish markets. Love it.

    It’s true. A lot of people do have one or two people in their lives who cause them grief. Why do so many people need to be in control?

    I’d love to hear more about your wood.

    Thank you for your regular positive critiques. They mean a lot, especially coming from you.

    It definitely does help me a lot. The park rules!

    That sounds wonderful. It really is brilliant when you can find a place like that!

    They have the Chinese Gardens down in Darling Harbour but they are not very Zen because they are so packed. i’d love to visit the Japanese version.

    That is such a great way of putting it – finding yourself. I love that.

    You should go out and walk in it. It is amazing what it does for the headspace. Get out there and enjoy!!

    We all do, don’t we? It just gets rid of the stresses and strains of the day. I couldn’t do without it!

    I am so glad. That has made me smile!!!


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