The Ideal Location for Reflections

DSCF0723The heat provided a great incentive to stay in an air conditioned house. The humidity was so high that newspapers left outside for more than a few minutes become soggy. Insects, arachnids, and unidentifiable objects that might be related to cockroaches grew so large and populated so rapidly that I could not help but think about movies and videos games in which bugs took over the world. Swimming in lakes is discouraged by fences, laws, common sense, as well as large alligators with sharp teeth, bad attitudes, and appetites for anything that moves.

As you may have guessed, the location to which I am referring is Florida. Please understand that I do not dislike everything about Florida – I strongly believe there is an unexplored square inch of Florida in which there is great weather at least five minutes per year. I did not pick Florida for its lovely weather, disturbingly large insects, or its gator wrestling demonstrations. I travelled to Florida to spend quality time with family who, for some reason I do not understand, chose to live in Florida.

During my 11-day vacation in Florida, I spent a few hours with a relative who coincidentally was vacationing in Miami. Far too much time had passed since our previous conversation. Afterword, I spent a little time at the Miami Seaquarium. Aside from its variety of fish, aquatic creatures, and friendly staff, the Seaquarium has little to offer. The location is not handicap accessible; if someone in your party requires a ramp or elevator to see a show that can only be seen above the first floor, do not waste your time or money at the Miami Seaquarium.

I cannot claim I was looking for the ideal reflection location when I found it, and I recognize that my ideal may not be your ideal, but Florida, in August, at the Seaquarium turned out to be my ideal location for reflection. The combination of heat, humidity, insects, alligators, and offensive inaccessibility combined to be the ideal spot to reflect. As I stared at the three large Manatee crammed into a small pool with nothing to do but float in a cauldron of misery, I forgot all the reasons I dislike Florida.  I wondered what I would do if I were in an undesirable physical or mental place – the same question probably asked by many survivors of war, terror, drought, flood, fire, earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, brain injury, heart attack, life-threatening illness, public education, bullying, discrimination, or injustice.

If you are having difficulty reflecting, you might consider the possibility that the least desirable location, rather than the most tranquil location, is the best place in which to reflect.


  • If you do not reflect as often as you would like to, what is your obstacle?
  • How does reflection help you?
  • What does reflection mean to you?
  • Does journaling help you reflect?

Thanks to Tracy and Sue for sharing the value of reflections with me, Jack C. Crawford and Charles Apple for encouraging me to share more of my personal experiences, and Juliette for inviting me to share my reflection.




  1. Scott,

    Thanks for the mention in your article above. Also, thanks for the reminder that our places of reflection don’t have to be the perfect, tranquil spot. Too often we are waiting to find the perfect spot and we miss many opportunities to reflect right where we are at.

    Thanks for your hard work in producing a weekly newsletter that is always enjoyable to read.

    Sue Shepard

    1. Sue, you bring up an interesting point — the opportunity cost of lost opportunities to reflect. I hear people say “I can’t think here” or “there must be a better time.” If people spend their time looking for an ideal place or perfect moment, they might miss an opportunity to reflect. Just as we cannot predict the future, we cannot predict the existence of a better time or place.

      The free newsletter is a great opportunity for people to receive the information they want without sifting through all the distractions of the internet. I am glad to hear you enjoy reading the newsletter.

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