My favorite musical group is Jamiroquai. I’ve been loving their jazzy, poppy tunes since the early 90s, and can’t pick an absolute favourite of their extensive library of songs, as they are all amazing in their own way. One of my favourites is a quieter song called This Corner Of The Earth, and talks about our connection to this earth. I hadn’t heard it in some time but my iPod shuffled its way to that corner of my song list the other day and for the first time since I had heard the song, I suddenly started thinking of places that – as the song describes – smiled at me.
1. Parc Guell, Barcelona: A bright & colourful haven for lovers of mosaic tiles, I connected with this park long before I ever stepped foot there. Like stepping into someone’s (read: Gaudí’s) technicolor imagination, I felt like a kid in a whimsical playground with hidden nooks & crannies, snaking mosaic benches, and gingerbread-like houses.
2. Adriatic ocean, Dubrovnik: That 10 square meter patch of the Adriatic ocean just outside the walls of Old Town is the spot where I felt most at peace, and in touch with myself. It’s just on the outside of all the activity and occasionally – with cliff divers and fellow swimmers – the centre of it all… Enough to give you the quiet of a peaceful mind while still within reach of friendly crowds.
3. Mombacho Volcano Reserve, Nicaragua: Like a hot guy you can’t stop staring at, I kept involuntarily turning toward this hunk of land jutting out of the Granada horizon. Walking through the cloud forest with my very knowledgeable guide Augustino felt like uncovering hidden secrets à la young adult mystery novel.
4. Piperin Puisto on Suomenlinna, Helsinki: I’ve always had a soft spot for parks, especially the ones that seem to be a mix of careful landscaping and natural elements. I didn’t know about Piperin Puisto when I went to Suomenlinna, but walking up to this little park made me so giddy, I may or may not have skipped up to the pond in its centre.
5. French Quarter, New Orleans: Though filled with tourists and (occasionally) the traps that follow them, the French Quarter epitomizes the dark and exotic soul of New Orleans. It seems the ghosts of NOLA past wander the streets along with locals and visitors, and there’s a general sense of mystery that appealed to explorer in me. Perhaps a ghost took permanent residence in me, because I haven’t forgotten how I felt roaming the streets of the French Quarter back in 2004.
While the places that I connected are vastly different, they all spoke to a part of me that I recognize yet can’t completely identify. Suffice it to say, if a place can be a kindred spirit, I have 5 corners of the earth that are all mine.
Is there a corner of the earth that is like you in many ways?
P.S. I can’t end this post without a plug for the song that inspired it! Here’s the video for Corner Of The Earth by Jamiroquai.