Finding a Sense of Place. What Does Your Soul Crave?

I discovered my favorite poem in high school. A part of it goes like this:

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

-excerpt of My Heart’s in the Highlands by Robert Burns

I remember taking long walks in Berlin, searching for a place where I could be all by myself. Where could I go and see no one else? Where could I hear no signs of people? In a city of 3 million people, it’s not surprising: I never found it.

At first, I didn’t know what I was trying to escape. Was it people? Was it the overwhelming frustration of my unskilled German? Was I searching for the scene Robert Burns wrote about?

The bustle was awesome. But sometimes, a soul needs silence. A soul needs escape from the media and the expectations of others and ourselves as members of a society. You can’t go cold turkey in a city!

But here?

I forget all the fears and worries, and today, I’m really liking that. I feel like I can be more present in my work when I’m not surrounded by it all the time. Life can’t be all about to do lists. Remodeling projects can wait. Business can wait.

People always ask me which I like better: the big city of Berlin or the silence of the country. What would you pick? City or country?

I think it depends on what we’re looking for. Be patient. You and I probably don’t always know what it is our souls crave. We just have to trust that the answers will unfold, and we will find our authentic selves.

Every season, my answer feels a little different. It’s always a new discovery. And this season? I’m pretty sure I know: my heart’s in the Highlands.

Where is yours?