Happy Place – There is one view that will forever be her happy place. (Genre – Free Writing, Rating – PG).
It is cold when she steps out onto the balcony.
The mountain air up here is not a biting cold, it is more gentler than that. It is the cold of memories, a reminder that summer has passed and now winter is drawing in close. It is the cold of a clear sky, with no clouds warming the night air. It is a cold which is calming, soothing, caressing.
She walks towards the chair that sits on the balcony, scraping it across the tile and pulling it to the right space. Over her shoulder are blankets, the only two in the hotel room, which she flings onto the seat so she can wrap herself in their woolly embrace. It will not keep her warm, not for long, but enough for her to enjoy the view.
In the daytime, this is a vista of majesty. Rolling mountains frame either side of the valley, which sweeps down below the hotel and onwards downstream, towards the valley floor many miles away. The forest is full of winter trees, still green even in this cold, which line the walls of valley long into the distance.
At night, the valley falls to darkness. As the sun descends, the universe unfolds itself in the night sky. Out here the night sky is easy to see, she can even see the curvature of the earth as the sky bends pass the distant horizon, taking with it the stars as the world turns through the hours.
It is calm, out here. Cow bells ring quietly across the valley, a car rolls across the distance road on the horizon, zig zagging its way through the twisting mountain roads. Then it is gone, and so do the cow bells, and all that is left is the cold touch of the wind and the unfolding universe above.
She sits here for a few hours, until her mind is as quiet as the picture around her. She breathes in the cold night air, she stares at the stars until her eyes cannot focus any longer, she listens for the barest hint of noise in the otherwise quiet valley.
Then she gets up, folding away the blankets and putting the chair back in its rightful place. It is too cold now, her fingers and toes feel stiff and she can feel her nose beginning to turn numb.
She takes one final look at the cascading stars behind her, and then retreats into the warming embrace of the indoors.
She will never forget that image. Nor the feeling of calm that is associated with it.
It will forever be, her happy place.