Querencia is a Spanish word with many nuances. At its simplest, it refers to your favorite spot, a place where you long to be. But its meaning can go even deeper. Querencia may be a sanctuary where you feel safe and authentic, or a situation that enables you to draw on extra reserves of strength and courage. It’s a special kind of home: an empowering shelter that makes you feel that you belong in this world and love your life. Can you guess where I’m going with this message, Gemini? These days you need to be in your querencia even more than usual. If you don’t have one, or if you don’t know where yours is, formulate a fierce intention to locate it.
Querencia is a metaphysical concept in the Spanish language. The term comes from the Spanish verb “querer,” which means “to desire.”Querencia describes a place where one feels safe, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn, a place where one feels at home.
We came to the entrance of the Comeau Woods trail in Woodstock and I swear it was like something from a Grimms fairytale. Looking at it, you might think, it looks dark in there, it might be dangerous. Where are we going? What if….but before I allowed my mind to create more reasons about why this might be a bad idea, I listened to the louder part of me that said, this is what you have been craving. Go in and be in it. You are not alone. Indeed I was not alone. My husband was with me and he was ready if I was. And in we went. And it was all I wanted. To walk along this raw and well worn trail next to a wide creek, surrounded by towering trees so thick that they created a canopy of shade in the heat as we got deeper into the woods, met occasionally by others who were on their way out and some for whom this walk was obviously one they took often. There was a woman on her own who stopped close to the edge of the water and sang and another who set up on a rock near the widest part of the creek and started writing in her journal.
Francis stood guard while I walked out to a flat rock in the middle of the water and just stood there and felt it all, felt the water moving all around me, the sound of it’s rushing like a meditative never ending prayer of peace until it felt like it was no longer outside of me but inside, like breath, like a heartbeat. I took some pictures, spent time studying pebbles in small pools in naturally formed craters. I was in bliss. And then we made our way back, falling in silent step with one another as if we had walked the path together in another life. We even talked about the feeling that we were connected to the earth in a way we could remember from a different time. We weren’t scared or unsure. This was actually very familiar. And we didn’t challenge it. It felt natural because it was.
That’s why I need the woods. I need nature. I remember my place when i’m there. There’s no conflict. Only acceptance That was my vacation moment. It was short lived and I needed it. It was fuel for the future.