It is said that every person has his or her special place, the place to which it is always delightful to return, the place that we also want to find in other countries when we travel a lot. It's the spot which will remind us of our special place. Simply said – my place.
Few years ago, I was thinking where my special place was exactly situated and I realized that for me, such place was always connected with water: a lake with swans, park, or even with waterfalls, playing hide and seek, my birthday, a beautiful view, the Zoo, the smell of lilacs, mum’s stories, walkabouts, relaxation, and many others. I thought that there was only one such place that is able to cover all these things — my hometown’s park, the calmest place in my town, although it is strangely situated in the middle of the most industrialized part of the town. But after traveling a bit more in the recent years, I’ve found out that I am always somehow lured to other similar places. Here in Helsinki, it is the harbour or Suomenlinna; in Prague, it is the river Vltava and its surroundings; and in London, the Thames, Hyde Park or Regents Park.
Those places remind me always of my special place, the hometown’s park with an artificial lake and a waterfall, with swans and ducks, the place linked to my childhood memories. Honestly, I am really somehow connected to this place from my early childhood. It used to be my mum’s favourite place to go when I was an unborn child and also an infant sleeping in my baby buggy (having some best sleep in this calm and peaceful park). Later, it used to be my beloved place to celebrate my birthdays and place related to our “Sunday’s family rituals” – when we used to go to this park for a walk. We do not go there as a whole family anymore. As me and my sister got older, our family unfortunately broke this habit. However, it is still my favourite place to go, the place where I always end up on my hometown’s walkabouts no matter which direction I take.
When I was a little girl my favourite Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale was The Ugly Duckling and my hometown’s lake reminds me of the story of this little creature a lot, especially when I see young swans hiding among those more beautiful ones. And it is always the place with these gorgeous and gorgeous-to-be creatures, which reminds me of my special place full of childhood memories.
“One evening, just as the sun was setting in splendour, a great flock of large, handsome birds appeared out of the reeds. The duckling had never seen birds so beautiful. They were dazzling white, with long graceful necks. They were swans. They uttered a very strange cry as they unfurled their magnificent wings to fly from this cold land, away to warmer countries and to open waters.”
- Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling