It is my immense pleasure to bring you the winners of my Fourth Annual Ginormous Contest! I wanted to post these sooner, but I had zero time during the California part of my book tour. I received about 50 entries and wanted to take my time reading all of them.
Can I just say how impressed I was with all of your entries? It was extremely difficult to select only three winners. You showed me the most beautiful Zen places ever. There were some common themes, like backyards, your room, and Paris. A majority involved water. There was even a totally tricked-out bathroom. Thank you for sharing your Zen places with me and the experiences that made those places so special to you. I cherished each and every one.
And now…the winners!
First place goes to Max H. Her Zen place is the Presidio:
Max says, “The Presidio used to be an army base, but now it’s a national park on the north side of San Francisco, where I grew up. I love it here for a lot of reasons—there’s a great bowling alley, free Shakespeare in the park every summer, the ocean, the Golden Gate bridge. When I was little, the empty barracks made for a great make believe setting. Whenever I need a break, I take a thermos of tea and a book and sit in the forest or on the cliffs above the water. A lot of time I don’t read. It’s not quiet there, but it’s one of the only places in the city where everything I hear is natural: the crashing waves and the wind and the seagulls. I can totally clear my head. It used to be a place of war, but nature has reclaimed it and now it brings me peace.”
How awesome is that?
Second place goes to Kelly K. for this very Zen visual of her local Botanical garden:
Kelly says, “When I just need to get away I go here and look at all the beautiful blown glass bobbing in the water. It’s peaceful, all my worries and stress melt away. All you hear are birds chirping, and kids laughing. At my age (14), me just like a lot of teenagers, we don’t know who we are yet. We try and put labels, like nerd, popular, geek, stoner, cheerleaders, jocks on everybody…even ourselves. Everyone is different… sure they can all be in the same click but everyone is their own individual. And that’s how I relate that quote to the pond. All of the glass blown bob things can be cauterized by color, shape, etc. But they are EACH different, because they were all made different. Sure they might look the same far away… but up close you can see everything and just how unalike they really are. That’s just like people. You can see a bunch of cheerleaders sitting at a table and go ‘wow they’re all snobby’ then once you get close you can see that they’re fighting with each other or having family issues just like everyone else. It always amazes me how a pond filled with blown glass always relates so much to my life.”
Preach it, girl.
Third place goes to Angel S.
Angel says, “My zen place would have to be The NorVa in Norfolk, Virginia. It used to be an old theater back in the 20’s and 30’s, and they would have all kinds of stage plays and musicians would come out to play. Today, it is still proudly open, and now serves as a concert venue. I love music. It’s the one thing that keeps me going besides my family and reading. When I’m there, I don’t care about all of the pushing from all of the excited people in the ‘pit’, moshing and going crazy over the live music playing before our eyes. I don’t care that I know I’m going to go to bed with my ears ringing after the show later that night, and then wake up the next morning to find that I can still hear that pounding drum, that earth-shaking bass guitar. I welcome it. Because for those few hours, while I’m there in that room with 1500 other people, I feel like I’m the only one there. I feel calm, I feel good… I feel at peace. It really is a strange place to chose for my zen zone of choice, but to me, it makes perfect sense. Being in your place of zen doesn’t have to mean silence. You don’t have to be sitting out by the water, reading a book or resting your body in sleep. Sometimes, you can have your zen moment simply by just living.”
Honorable mention goes to Kalie S.
Kalie says, “My Zen place is the house I grew up in. I learned how to ride a bike, drive a car, and had so many other great experiences in this house or on the property it is built on. It is out in the country so it is very relaxing and there is always a great view of the sky. On the day I took this picture, there had been a thunderstorm and I saw a double rainbow when I took my dog outside when the rain stopped. It was the only time I had ever saw one. Now that I am in college, I really appreciate having a home to return to that is away from everything. Everything is so close at my apartment so I love going home and being able to look at the sky and relax in the wide open spaces.”
Congrats to the winners! And thanks to everyone who shared their Zen place with me. It really meant a lot.