Heart, Mind, & Body

Anxiety Safe Place: San Juan Island

Oh my gosh.

The kids are DRI. VING. ME. CRA. ZY.

Fussy, teething, cranky, impatient little munchkins complaining to me, at me, ON me at the same time all morning long. And I’ve hit my limit. Luke- you’re going into your crib for an early nap. See ya! And Lyla- please hush and just watch some Doc McStuffins.

Ahhhh… Now I can sit down and pull my hair out in peace.

Where should I get some encouragement?

Doc McStuffins is singing in the background, “I feel better, so much better!” No thanks. Headphones go on.

Oh, I know. Genius! I’ll go to my “safe place.”

When I was dealing with anxiety and having trouble breathing in June, my counselor recommended I use a strong memory of an awesome place to go to in my mind. It totally works. Here, I’ll describe it for you so you can go there with me:

San Juan Island, Washington

Step onto the deck and down into the spongy green grass

Walk across the yard towards the wall of giant fir trees, a bay of water peeking through the trunks

A large golden eagle, silhouetted against the pale sky, eyes me and then swoops down and away with a screech

My heart pounds because I’ve never seen a bird so large, and I feel almost frightened

I reach the edge of the yard, the edge of the land, and the bay spreads out before me, serene and still

I’m at a 15 foot drop off, but I have a wooden staircase to escort me down to the small, rocky beach

I pause at the top, with my hand on the peeling and faded red rail

The air is cool on my skin, no breeze- it just surrounds me softly, and I hover in the moment with it

I take in the view

Three boats sleep in the water

Pink, pale orange, and blue gently mingle in the sky and again in the water, a painting that deserves to be shown off twice

 There is no movement but I can feel the life, the energy that throbs

A bald eagle screeches and its mate echoes its call across the bay

I slowly descend the stairs, afraid I might interrupt their conversation

Are they talking about me or their dinner of fish?

Rocks and clam shells crunch under my feet as I make my way to the ring of Adirondack chairs that surround a fire pit

 I smell the remnants of our fire from the night before, smoky, rich, and organic despite its human origin

I feel speechless and honored to witness this tapestry of life slowly weaving itself together here

The strap of a pair of binoculars pulls heavily on my neck

I lift them to my eyes and scan the far tree line

Ah- there they are- the pair of bald eagles

Wait- there’s another, oh and one more, and to the right I spy two more white heads

That makes six total that I see at this current moment

They are my favorite part of Washington

They play and hunt and screech and soar

They are wild and free

I smile with them

There. I feel better. Do you like my memory? Feel free to make it your own, and you can smile with us.

1 thought on “Anxiety Safe Place: San Juan Island”

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