Haiku about Place: Week 10 of rewriting your well-being

I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer — and what trees and seasons smelled like — how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Thank you for visiting week 10 of Haiku for You, a 12-week interactive blog-series where I will help you write haiku to improve your daily well-being.

If you would like to know more about my series, take a look at my introductory post where I explain how it all began. There really is no perfect time or place for practicing mindfulness or writing! All you have to do is be willing to find 30 minutes for your own wellbeing.

Have you found it? If not, put down those dishes, finish the hoovering or take a break from that report you are working on.

Take a slow, deep breath in …

and then back out.

Today, we are going to write about

place.

Thoughts about Place

Do you have a location you like to return to again and again? Is there a place that makes you feel like the weight on your shoulders has been lifted and you can finally breathe? We can’t always pinpoint the reason, but certain locations just speak to us, especially when times get hard.

We all need to escape every now and then, and we all choose different destinations. The countryside is a go-to for many people who require some time and headspace, and rightly so, as there is much evidence to support how it positively impacts mental health. However, the place that is important to you does not have to be anything picturesque or sensational. What matters most is that it brings you comfort.

Why are we drawn to places?

If we begin to consider what it is about a particular place that makes us feel pleasure, there is probably an abundance of details we take for granted.

If you like the bustling city, what is it about the environment that makes you feel good? Is it the noise of crowds that gives you great company? Is it that you can lose yourself in the crowd and feel comfortably invisible for a while? Are you mesmerised by the delicious smell of restaurants and the excitement of people pouring in and out of high street shops?

You could ask yourself similar questions about all kinds of places, from the sensational countryside to the sweeping coastline, from a back room where piano music was played by the hands of a loved one, to the armchair where your grandmother always sat. It could be that your place is built upon years of memories and when you visit, you time-travel back to a perfect moment.

Place and the senses

We can use mindfulness to revisit our special places if we remember its unique sounds, images, scents and how it looks and feels to our bare hands or feet. These can allow us to access a wonderful memory, or a place we can’t currently attend in person.

If your chosen place is a beach, for example, can you smell the salty sea-weed in the breeze? Can you hear children splashing in the distance?  Listen to the waves rising and then breaking, back and forth, back and forth. Isn’t it magical to let your worries drift away for a while?

You could be anywhere! Do you like to drive somewhere scenic on a rainy day to have a picnic in the car? Are you near a waterfall in the woods? Is there water cascading into a river beneath? Are you paddling your feet in a narrow stream? Can you smell tree bark or just-bloomed flowers in your favourite spot in the garden? Can you feel the blunt grass or warm patio beneath your bare feet? Can you hear the wind howling and the trees swaying? Do you taste blackberries as you pick them? Can you smell the earth after rain?

Or, is your favourite place home?

All that matters is that it is your place.

Haiku about place: some examples of my own

Daffodils spring up
between footprints of children
in the empty park.
alex blajan ygtmyLF3 xU unsplash
Her remembrance bench -
flowers laid by family;
they die and they grow.
mike benna iw6kFrlHptQ unsplash
Four-wheeled companion -
your battery comatose
without adventure.
Haiku about place

How to write your own haiku about place

Exercise duration: approximately 30 minutes

1. If you cannot physically attend your favourite place, close your eyes and imagine it.

2. What do you see?

Write down a handful of shapes and colours.

3. What do you hear?

Are there outside or indoor sounds?

4. Does this place have a distinctive aroma?

Would you find this scent anywhere else?

5. Can you touch the surroundings?

How do they feel? Rough? Smooth? Soft and warm?

6. How does this make you feel?

Write down three positive emotions.

Now, using your notes, write your haiku about place.

Just remember, it’s three lines of 5-7-5 syllables! Refer back to How to write Haiku guidelines.

Close your eyes and take another deep breath in …

and then back out …

Where did your haiku take you?

Places can carry as much emotional attachment as people. They hold our thoughts, our memories from childhood, relationships, or life’s many milestones. A place can be a healthy and comforting reminder of something that means a lot to us. The smell of a gorse bush can take us back years, and a certain shape of a hill in the distance can make us feel as though we are approaching home.

I hope these thoughts inspire you to keep your place alive and well.

Once again, thank you for joining me in this mindfulness session. I look forward to finding out where your haiku will take me! Next week, I will bring the penultimate Haiku for You theme and writing prompt. I hope you are looking forward to it. I know I am!

Isn’t it interesting where our minds can drift when we cease to take control? It’s natural to detach from the world every now and then; sometimes to find our own thoughts and ideas, and sometimes, to forget about them. There is similar psychology behind taking a much-needed trip to a place where no one will recognise you and nothing is expected of you.

So, this time, take a haiku holiday. Pack away those worries and let your mind travel..

Now, haiku away!

If you are happy to, please leave your beautiful haiku about place in the comments section below each post.

See last week – Week 9: Haiku about Food

sasha freemind frq5Q6Ne9k4 unsplash

Sharing is caring!

20 Comments
  1. Carolyn Jones

    Haiku about Place
    Yellow, blue and bright
    Unbelievably noisy
    Port of Havana

    Georgia, I’ve lived in many places, but was born in Havana, Cuba and lived there as a very young child and again for a couple of years as an adult. It’s a hot, bright world with radios and televisions blaring from open windows — open all year long because of the heat — and the click click of tiles as men play dominoes on little tables set up on the street, people talking, laughing, shouting to each other, kids playing and screaming with laughter or tears, and if you’re close to the harbour you can hear and see the waves crashing against the seawall. A lot of life is lived outside because of the weather; it’s just too warm to stay inside all day if you live in a flat. Then the rain comes and everyone runs inside and all you can hear is the rain. In an hour or two it’s over and everyone starts venturing out onto the street again. If you haven’t been, put it on your list — it’s a magical place.

    • Georgia

      Wow, Carolyn. That’s such a vivid description of Havana. I haven’t been there before, but what you have said about it definitely makes me want to! It must be wonderful to have such a range of hometowns, all with so many contrasts. You can take the best bits of each. All that outside life altered by rain in a second, too. It would be lovely to read more about that. Thanks for the vibrant insight. 🙂 Your haiku is very sensory and really captures elements of your description. Thank you!

  2. Wendy Evans

    PLACE

    My heart lays at home
    Safe in my four walls, blissful
    No place like it ever

    • Georgia

      There definitely is no place like home, is there, Wendy? 🙂 I completely agree. It’s essential to have that sanctuary where you can be yourself and just be allowed to relax and take a deep breath in and out. Rest and comfort for the heart and soul. Your haiku is especially prevalent during this crisis, where physical and emotional safety is key. This is a lovely, cosy haiku. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Chris

    The most magical place I have ever visited. ( 3 times!) now got a dog and an unwell husband so not likely to go again

    Venice

    Soul warming sunlight
    Church bells ring across canals
    Coffee in the Square

    • Georgia

      Love this, Chris! I’ve been to Venice (once, mind you) and also adored it. It’s so hard-to-believe and charming, all at the same time, isn’t it? Definitely magical. 🙂 Even if you don’t get to return right now, I’m glad you have such vivid and positive memories to take care of. They sound precious. 🙂 Your haiku captures the true richness of the place. I can see it now, with all its little bridges and the walk along the cobblestones of St Mark’s Square! Thank you for this beautiful snapshot. 🙂

  4. Chris

    Carolyn
    I loved reading about Havana.
    What an exciting time you’ve had. It sounds amazing although I feel the noise and definitely the heat would be too much for me. I looked up some images after reading your description and haiku and saw beautiful buildings and the temperature chart!!!!
    You have described such vibrancy!!

  5. Chris

    St Marks Square at night.

    Lamp lit colonnades
    Lovers dancing in the square
    Oboe music haunts

  6. Peter Gaskell

    I really like the sensory Havana & Venice haiku and you’ve inspired me to write about both those places I’ve visited too but for the moment my favourite place isn’t anywhere exotic, just my

    Garden untranquil
    Till bees find my sweet peas and
    Heart’s ease, oasis

    • Georgia

      And it definitely doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic, Peter. Thanks so much for this contribution. What a lovely, bumbling image. Your garden definitely does sound like an oasis. I’m glad you have had such a place during Lockdown. ‘Sweet peas’ and ‘heart’s ease’ flows so perfectly. 🙂 Glad you have enjoyed everyone’s haiku. 🙂 We enjoy yours!

  7. Vivienne

    Children, grandchildren
    Family togetherness
    Comfort that is home

    • Georgia

      I really like this. It says it all; that a place often becomes a home due to the people within it, not the place itself. 🙂 I’m sure a lot of people relate to this right now due to Lockdown and in general. 🙂 This is definitely a comforting haiku. 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Vivienne

    I’m really enjoying all the haiku. Such vivid descriptions.
    Peter I love your haiku and missed yours last week.
    I am waiting for my sweet peas to bloom.

    Arms linked night time stroll
    Welcome breeze across the Seine
    Tower lights embrace

    • Georgia

      This is such a romantic haiku! 🙂 I can feel the welcome breeze and picture the Parisian evening so quickly! 🙂 How calming! You’ve really put a spotlight on the moment. 🙂 I also love that the lights are embracing as the people could be. What a lovely metaphor. Thanks for this. 🙂

  9. Lotte Williams

    Late again to this week’s haiku party…. and reading through I feel like I’ve been transported away! Thanks everyone. I’ve been a bit quiet as life has been very busy the last couple of weeks with our brood of three becoming four with the safe arrival of our little girl… two boys, two girls now! So this haiku is my place right now…

    Sitting up in bed
    My newborn sleeps on my chest
    First light sparkles through

    xxxx

    • Georgia

      Don’t worry, Lotte, these posts are going to be here for a long time! 🙂 We’re glad you’re both safe and well. Wow. Massive congratulations! I can only imagine how busy and tired you must feel, as well as besotted of course! 🙂 What lovely news. Thank you for telling us all, and thank you SO much for finding your time to write a haiku amidst the chaos! What a perfect haiku too. Light of morning and new life; sleeplessness and alertness all at once. This haiku certainly is sparkling. 🙂 Lovely.

  10. Vivienne

    Congratulations Lotte
    That’s wonderful news and in these difficult times that brings a broad smile xx

  11. Chris

    Congratulations Lotte!!
    Lovely news. Lovely haiku.
    I have just bought a book to read to my 3 month old grandson called Baby Haiku!!
    xxxxxxxx

  12. Lotte Williams

    Ah thank you, Chris! And Venice sounds beautiful… I’d love to visit one day too. Sounds like you have very happy memories there. Also what a beautiful gift to buy your grandson… congratulations to you and your family too xx

  13. Lotte Williams

    Thank you, Vivienne! I must say, my children have certainly seen me through and totally (mostly haha!) kept my smile on my face! xx

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.