Describe a Place Where You Are Perfectly Content

803 words | 3 page(s)

It seems to me that a place can play a part in an emotional attachment very much like that of deep friendship. Much about the connection defies explanation, but it exists nonetheless. Also as with a personal relationship, the depth of the connection can exist in spite of what others would see as drawbacks, or a lack of attraction. These are my thoughts as I consider a certain place important to me. There is nothing inherently “special” about it, and I do not believe many others would ever perceive it as I do. Here again, however, is the parallel with the personal relationship. As they have meaning unique to those involved in them, so too may a plain place be significant because of what we bring to it, and feel that it gives back to us.

I wonder as I write this which, in fact, came first: what I perceived about my local, neighborhood basketball court, or what I felt I could feel and be within it. Certainly, there is no powerful beauty here to draw me, nor does the arena offer anything more than the regulation-sized asphalt, the standard hoop, and a few flood lights for night play. I know as well that my original motivations for going there were as might be expected; to play a little ball, unwind, clear my mind. With each visit, however, something changed, as my state of mind changed each time I neared this desolate, ordinary community arena. I found myself consciously hurrying, even as I knew I would only be tossing a few baskets and lazily practicing my moves. I do love basketball and I am usually serious about it.

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Here, however, it began to take on a new meaning, and one actually removed from the game itself. The court allowed me to go through the motions in different circumstances, in a sense. There were – and are – no rules when I am here, and no crowds or teammates. I began to experience different perspectives, some comic and unimportant, and some extremely serious to me. As all of this evolved, so too did a “relationship” between myself and the space, and the one-sided quality of it in no way lessens its meaning for me.

No, nothing very spiritual happens when I visit the court, and I do not come away from it with an enhanced insight into life or deep sense of serenity. What occurs instead is a feeling of expansion. Alone, moving around, thinking of nothing, my mind is free to go in whatever directions it wants to pursue, and I “follow along”. Likely because of the inherent emptiness of the scene, I am able to command the entire space and release into it all my feelings and thoughts. It is both an intensely private and public experience, and no other setting allows me to feel so much myself. As I think about it more, in fact, this translates to my personal definition of contentment. It happens for me here because my life is suspended, and the world is distanced. The simple ease of being fills my spirit; no demands, no needs, and only all the endless possibilities of life running free with me on the asphalt.

I know as well that the physicality of the space plays a large part in my feelings about it. That is, I prefer evenings when the flood lights create a stage of the court and I am the sole, unwatched player. This provides a striking sense of intimacy for me; I am even more alone, and then more connected to myself. Then, the changes in the seasons change the atmosphere, just as shifts in mood alter the beings of those we are close to. In winter, the piercing cold has me moving faster, which shifts the dynamic of the experience. My fingers are numb and my aim is off, but there is an exhilaration that comes from the trying. I see the ball through the clouds of my own breath, and I feel that the seemingly pointless play is somehow a meaning in itself. Each season, in fact, adds dimension and character to my court: a shot making it in the spring releases pollen like confetti from the branches by the hoop; the heat rising from the asphalt in the summer creates a dreamy, sweltering landscape. I play on, wondering why I do and never really wondering at all. I play on then, as in every season, because this place is giving back to me all that I have brought to it, and more. Having allowed me to fill the space with my being, the court then allows me to be gloriously alone with every possibility that exists within me. It is for me a contentment nothing else provides because no other place gives this richness of aloneness.

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