All of us have a place within, a nirvana, a connection with the divine inside and beyond. In old Spanish, it is called querencia, a space that is your own, where your soul finds peace even away from home. It is an alcove within where you are your most authentic, peaceful self, a harbor where you recharge, safe in every way, with no pressure to speak or explain. The place where you are your deepest, truest self. Where you hear your thoughts and inner light. Where you can plan and rest. Where you can stay as long as you’d like until you choose to venture back out into the larger arena of life.
Every September when I open a new grade eleven class, I ask the students to write about their favorite setting – their room, a corner of the library, the forest, the beach, somewhere they go with friends or alone as our first descriptive writing assignment. I still remember everyone’s querencia from all my decades of teaching, ever in awe of the light of their beings and the privilege it is to be trusted with knowing such beauty.
I do the assignments myself too. I have a couple of places that are a needed querencia for me – a walk in a sunlit forest or along the ocean shoreline when the waves are crashing exuberantly, then coming home and reading peacefully with a cup of earl grey tea, when I have the whole afternoon and evening to my thoughts and writing, the way it is to commune with the best of books. My three line poem above alludes to my personal querencia.