My Favorite Place


My Favorite Place Essay, Research Paper

The world is a very busy place. Life is hectic and running on a strict unbending schedule. Sometimes all of us have an urge to go against all logic and reason and bend this schedule a bit. This is the time when we take a U-turn from the hectic to the peaceful. This is the time when we take a vacation. This is the time when we break ourselves away from logic and order and enter a ‘third place’ where order and logic don’t matter. The only thing that matters is inner peace and quiet.

For me this ‘third place’ is a cottage I vacationed in last year during Christmas. The cottage is in County Waterford, south of Dublin, Ireland. On the way over to the cottage the only thing really visible is impossible greenery. It is a visual feast. The lush green fields look like miles and miles of soft emerald velvet spread over the earth. The cottage itself is a site to behold. Made of stone and bricks, with plants creeping up the walls, it is a two-story building that is ancient but sturdy. To me it has always looked magical. There is no porch, only a stoop. The wooden door is as thick as a brick and charmingly arched with a brass knocker in the shape of a Celtic knot. Over the door there is a sign, which says ‘Ceade mile faitle’, which, I found out later means a thousand welcomes in Gaelic.

And it always feels like a thousand when I step in to the welcoming warmth. An instant and unprecedented feeling of peace and calm creeps into the deepest parts of my soul, dragging me away from all the bitterness and harsh reality of the world. The foyer is not too big. It is flanked on one side by stairs polished by time and traffic. Everything in the room looks washed by the sun, generating a feeling of warm and cheerful welcome. I stay in the room with a view of the hills. And what a view it is!

Roll after roll of green hills shimmered under sunlight that glow and spread back and back into the shadows of dark mountains. The hulk of them rambles against a sky layered mostly with smoky clouds and pearly light that belongs in paintings rather than reality. Paintings so beautifully rendered that when you look at them long enough you feel yourself slipping right into them, melting into the colors and shapes. The brilliance and the beauty of it rips at the heart even as it soothes it again. If I listen hard enough, I can almost hear the music and voices, the clash of battles, the laughter of children that surrounded the lush and tragic history of this little paradise town.

It was here in this cottage that I first realized that taking things for granted could be one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make. The cottage doesn’t have a centralized heating system, running water or a microwave. In the modern world of technology and luxuries this was a nightmare. But I soon learned the joy of warming my self in front of the fireplace in the foyer and the fun of heating water for a bath and taking baths in a huge brass bathtub. I had almost forgotten the taste of food that is actually cooked and not zapped in a microwave.

It can a bit hard at times, especially when you run out of firewood on a cold night or run out of hot water during a bath. But here lies the crux of the adventure. It gives you a taste of what life would be without all these things and hence gives you an important lesson:

Never take anything for granted. For a person like myself who has always been privileged since childhood, living in this cottage for a month was a grand adventure that I’m never likely to forget. I will go back there every time I get the chance to do so and I will never change a thing.

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