Next time you're going through a challenging moment of your day, and you maybe feel a bit tight or tense in the body, consider pausing for a moment to recall one of your favourite places.
In the photo below, I am in Arrowtown. It's our favourite place as a couple. We honeymooned there after visiting a couple of times, and then we went back a couple of times after that.
We like Arrowtown in the winter. Strolling along the country lanes all wrapped up, walking through the old leaves by the river, and just when we are really cold, we arrive at the Fork 'n'Tap all ready for a nice home brew craft ale.
The best one was a pumpkin beer.
They only make a small run of a new flavour, and once it's out it's out, never to be repeated.
So the memory of that pumpkin ale was pretty special in my mind and when I think about it, I kind of relax inside. I remember being with my partner, who I introduced to Arrowtown too, and I feel all the good feelings about how he appreciated it as much me.
And that he wanted to honeymoon there. And how, we decided to have our Christchurch wedding in winter, because there were more venues available in winter after the earthquakes - most of them had been damaged, so the summer venues were in high demand.
And then we thought, why not have a winter wedding. What could be great about that?
And we started to list all the things we like about winter.
Winter is a hard time. And we were going through a hard time with the Canterbury quakes occuring in the second year of our relationship.
It felt like we were tested time and time again. But Arrowtown for a honeymoon was about putting all that aside and noticing what's beautiful in the time between Autumn and Spring.
When I think of Arrowtown I think of finding the gifts in life. The aesthetic beauty that came out of a hard life, nestled against a mountain that blocked the sun, working through the forest to pan the river for specks of gold.
So Arrowtown for me has so much mean
ing. And just thinking of it reminds me of finding the nuggets and gifts in each experience, or enjoying the search at least. And being resourceful. And the warmth of love inside the blanket of the cold world.
When I think of this, the feelings are strong. And I feel like I can face whatever is in front of me right now!
What's in front of you right now? And what's a useful place to remember?