Paradise Found

My special place

Special place

I miss the forest where I used to live in Georgia. We had a home with trees all around that connected to a large plot owned by a paper company. My dog and I would take long walks in the solitude of giant oaks, dogwoods, redbuds and fields of twenty year old pines. The pines waited patiently to be harvested then to be turned into news print, books and whatever the need of the day. I only thought of them that way when I heard trucks moving in to pillage the forest. I enjoyed their company and silence.

Here in Thailand, even with a small farm, solitude is a commodity in short supply. For a people who cherish being around one another it’s the perfect place. I enjoy it too, but there are many times I want to go about unnoticed. When I step out my door I know someone somewhere is watching to see what I’ll do next, so I look for some small place I can sit and think without eyes watching. I don’t have any bad thoughts about the villagers observing me—after all I’m unique, to them. I enjoy the attention most of the time.

We purchased a small plot that adjoined our land in the back. I didn’t think much of buy a big hole in the ground but my wife said I would like it. At some point in the past the owner had sold the dirt for a pittance leaving a very large hole in the ground, but it helped that family survive.

The hole gathered rain water and had a small pond, so we set about clearing the weeds and unwanted scrub trees

Hidden from view

and what we found was a land of large igneous boulders and petrified wood. Many of the boulders have the trees turned to rock running through them. I was fascinated. There are pieces of this rock-wood strewn about. We’ve planted bananas and improved the pond and it worked out well. The pond attracts dragonflies, frogs, small lizards, birds and we raise fish in the clear water.

What I really found was a place below eye level I can abscond to, leaving only wondering from those that watch. My mind flies free and I think of forest and writing; thoughts of places I’ve been and childhood dreams, but more often than not I set my mind free—not always seeing what’s around me. It’s a place I go when heavily into a manuscript and I need to relax my eyes and allow my muse to sprinkle a bit more magic dust in the new world I’m building.

I always return from my little spot refreshed and think how lucky I am to have a small bit of paradise. I hope you have a place you can go to release worries or just let your mind soar free. I’d love to hear about your secret place.

All photos are untouched and taken by me.

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32 responses to “Paradise Found

  1. What a great place you have there Dannie. We all need our secret place where we can be alone. I am privileged here living beside the coast and national park. I have sweeping beaches and hidden coves, rainforest and bush. My own garden is full of secret places – over 2/3 of it is native bush, then we have our veggie patch and greenhouse, chickens, herbs and flowers. For me it is about going into the wild nature. I love to walk and merge with everything around me – and my favourite time is late in the day as the sun sinks into the west. I love the light on the water and for my ancestors that was a deep experience of being at one – being present to the light and the nature and allowing oneself to experience being part of it all. I didn’t realise that you had lived in Georgia. I was so surprised by the beauty there the first time I went. It was north Georgia and the amazing biodiversity in the forests, the fresh chanterelles, the nearby mountains and all the amazing fresh food – I loved it. I had an idea that it was all swamp land – how wrong I was.. crowder peas are my favourite! Thanks, as ever, for sharing your wonderful stories.

    • Michelle, thank you for visiting. I follow your travels and view of life and it is in nature we learn respect and find beauty. Your home sounds magical. Yes, Georgia is full of beauty. I’ve been to the wilds of Alaska, the plains of Brazil, Jungles of Southeast Asia and lived for two years in the Marshall Islands and of all the places I’ve been to and touched by nature the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina take me back in time to visit with my people. My family came out of those mountains and although many of us have moved on the mountains are in us.

      I love crowder peas too, lol. Hard to grow in the heat of Thailand but just a word makes me miss them. Thank you, pretty lady!

  2. I’m lucky to have a quiet, secluded garden so I can step out of my kitchen with a cup of coffee and just sit and think (or not think, depending on the mood!). But having grown up in big cities this is all new to me. Having said that, in big cities, it was quite easy to get lost in the anonymity of the crowd and get lost in one’s thoughts too – but that’s a different experience. Love your post, and the photos (especially that red bug, quite beautiful!)

    • Thank you, Letizia. Your garden sounds wonderful. I bet just viewing it from the kitchen is a calming thing.

      I’ve never lived in a big city but I do enjoy entering the masses from time to time. Bangkok has some 16 million people and I do find that one can stand alone in a crowd and get that feeling no one is watching. I hope I don’t sound paranoid, LOL.

      BTE I loved your picture post and all the great responces.

      • hahaha, you don’t sound paranoid at all as I know exactly what you mean!

        Thanks for the kind words about my post – I really enjoyed replying to the comments as well- it’s always fun to see how people react to what one has written. Being a writer, you know that better than I!

        In fact, I was going to order one of your books today – and somewhat randomly pick one – but as I have rare access to the author, is there one you suggest I start with? Or is that too awkward of a question? 🙂

    • I’m excited that you will get one of my books! I love that part of blogging. My best selling book, and one that women seemed to really like is In Search fo a Soul.

      I’m getting emails from people who are loving the humor I’ve added to a thriller in Death’s Door. I still read it and laugh out loud at some of the things that happen. So take your pick and let me know what you think. You’ve made me smile big time today! Thank you.

      • Thank you for the suggestions – I find it so exciting to be able to get suggestions directly from the author! I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to ask, as if I might be breaking some reader-author taboo! 🙂

      • Ha! Asking a writer about his book could never be taboo– you might get a biased opinion, but we love those kind of questions. Thank you, pretty lady.

        I’ll be honest and add: I love my latest book–it’s good. But when I go through a depressed time I pick up In Search and read, not believeing I could write something that has a poetic ring to it– and it’s an adventure. As you can tell I love talking about my works. Thanks you– you have again made me smile!

  3. I love this post. Thanks for sharing your place of serenity and beautiful pictures. Since I live in Mexico part of the year I understand exactly how it feels to be part of a different culture. Writers always need to find time for introspection, no matter whether it’s in the middle of a bustling city or the forest. I’m thinking Thailand is on my list to visit!

    • Perhaps we will have to trade for a time, Ha! I really enjoy Hispanic people an especially Mexicans! I love the food even more. So very hard to get Mexican food over here.

      Thank you so much for commmenting. I’m happy you liked the post. Sometimes I feel like marketing is all I do. I get better results and feelings when just writing simple things.

      You are so right about most writers. They (we) need a place to call their own– even if it’s the size of a closet– to let a story build and fly.

  4. Your ‘special place’ certainly brings a smile, Dannie. Thank you for sharing your inner musings sprinkled with photos, very nice. I have a sheltered place here too, free from sight of any others. When I was young and needed that alone time, I thought nothing of walking nearly 10 miles to where I could find such freedom. Now I am thankful to find this personal peace right here in my own back yard beyond the large, burgundy, Virginianan Creepers! P.S. I too, love dragonflies. 😉

    • Thank you, pretty Virginia. It is so important for many people to have time to let our guard down and just float free. I’m one who could be a recluse with such a small shove, but I’m glad I not. Too many nice and wonderful people out here in the world!

  5. Hi Dannie. Paradise found indeed. The secret place to which you can go. I have a similar place – not unlike the feeling around the enchanted places of AA Milne’s Chrisopher Robin books yes? See http://bit.ly/-Christopher-

    I appreciate your comment on my blog. You made a great point about non-fiction. So a question: Is your successful non-fiction book to be seen on this blog? e.g. The ‘Appalachians’ book or the ‘sailing in the Pacific’ book?

    ‘Intrigued’ in the South Pacific.

    • Thanks so much for visiting. Writers do need playtime– it’s work for the mind but so pleasant.

      My best selling book is In Search of a Soul, the sailing adventure in the Pacific. Some of it comes from living in the Marshall Islands for two years and some other sailing experiences, but most of it came from the magic dust of my muse. My sells don’t compare to your success but for a non-fiction writer it’s so satisfying to know it will be around for years. I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy.

      BTW I enjoy your site! It gives we writers hope in what may happen. Thank you.

    • Kelly. So good to hear from you. Your blog is on my ‘must read now’ list because it makes me laugh and see real love at work.

      Solitude is a must for me. I’m such an idiot in a crowd.

  6. Hey Dannie:
    Thanks for the mention of my book, Clotho’s Loom, on Twitter–I have very little social media experience (spend much of my time writing, and some blogging)–my girlfriend does all my Facebook promo. I hope you enjoy the book! I’ll be sure to check out Death’s Door–sounds like my kind of thing.
    Shawn StJean
    http://clothosloom.wordpress.com/

    • You’re a lucky writer to be able to spend most of your time writing! That’s all I want to do but I do want people to read my books, so I do what I must. I’ve also enjoyed learning to blog– not claiming to be good at it. I’ve met so many interesting and wonderful people from their visits and visiting their sites. I do look forward to reading Clotho’s Loom– the back cover sounds great. I hope you enjoy Death’s Door and thanks for dropping by.

    • Not sure if if I can standup to being a sweet guy, lol. I really enjoy your blog– it’s for readers(some of my favorite people). Thank you for all you comment here, Letizia. And after all you bought one of my books– that makes you special in my book!

  7. Dannie, the photos are beautiful, and I trust that there are many wonderful places in Thailand, although I’ve never been. I love urban feel of the large cities, but I also appreciate nature, where I can unwind and quiet my soul. For me, the combination of both a busy city and a slow-paced suburb is the best option 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by, Angela! I do enjoy being in the cities– it’s exciting. I just a country boy at heart and really enjoy the forest and solitude. Sounds like you have it figured out– I’m envious. I loved the interview you did with Karen and what a great luagh you have on Twitter! I’m really glad you liked the post. It’s hard being a star attraction(I’m saying that with a smile) over here, but there are moments I enjoy the quiet.

    • Thank you, Karen. I’m a winner! I honestly never won anything until I started blogging. And now the The Fabulous Blog Ribbon award. I am speechless! Thank you, pretty lady!

  8. Thailand is such a great place to get inspiration for a book. Another author (who you might have met) David Young said he gets inspiration from busy places rather than the tranquil. The interview is on youtube: ysAQyrP3myU and he has a few interesting things to say about being a writer in Thailand.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Deshawn. I have not met David but I will eagerly take a look. Living in rural Thailand with a slow internet make youtube time consuming but I’ll make the effort. Great to hear from you!

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