Where is Your Third Place? (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Where is Your Third Place? (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Where is your third place?, poem by Polly Castor

Where is Your Third Place?

Your first place is considered home,
Your second place is considered work,
but we all need at least one third place.

Where do you go
for community,
a sense of belonging?
Where do you go
to engage
with other people?
Where do you go
to know and be known,
to love and be loved
in a wider context?

For me, I go to church,
and I’m involved as well
in several art groups,
and book groups.
Even daily visits
to my local state park
and seasonal time at our
summer swimming hole, counts.

I know others who get involved
in volunteer or service organizations,
garden clubs, game or trivia nights,
pottery or cooking classes,
musical or environmental groups,
gyms, exercise classes,
or running or hiking with others.
Some neighborhoods rotate
monthly Friday night dinner parties.

Where do you want to
become a regular?
Who do you want to
hangout with?
What do you like to do
that you wish you had others
to do it with?

Immersing part of yourself
beyond family and career,
requires intentionality
and reaps social health.
Engaging with people
in meaningful ways
around mutual interests
reduces loneliness and stress.
It heightens that
lovely feeling
of deeply rooted joy
that starts with
habitation and hearth
and is further fed
with purposeful endeavor.
Participating in something
in addition to and beyond
those important things
makes us thrive, expand,
and feel more satisfied.

Be patient, and allow
your third places
to grow in their role
of nurturing you and others,
for to be part of one,
you must continually show up.
Sporadic tries are not enough.
These extra places
germinate meekly
and emerge gently
but also flourish remarkably
with regular contact.

I have found this
so worth doing,
that I hope you too
weave a third place or two
into your life as well,
where you get to be
recognized and appreciated
and do that for others as well.

I encourage you
not to be haphazard about
cultivating your third places.
Be deliberate about it.
Build groups that matter to you.
Support others who build groups
you value as well.
Resist our separatist culture
where we hunker down alone,
wondering why we feel so isolated.
Reach out. Embrace activity.
Connect with your own “third places.”
Become integral to them.
You’ll be so glad you did.


by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


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