Growing up, we had a swing in a big tree in the backyard. I don't remember when Daddy strung it up with rope and a sturdy wooden seat, but very early on it became the best place I could find to do my serious thinking.
This Thinking Place was a real lifesaver from the time I was maybe 10 to 14-years-old. There seemed to be a lot to sort out during those years, and mindless swinging under a big old tree helped clarify things.
The knottiest problems couldn't be "swung out," though. They had to be twisted out - sitting in the swing and twisting round and round until it couldn't twist any more, then letting it untwist until I was dizzy. Things were clearer after a good "twist."
I wish I could find a good grown-up Thinking Place, some place that could work as well as our backyard swing all those years ago. The size of the problems are relative - a big problem at 12 is just as enormous as a big problem at 58. The difference is that I don't have any place to twist those problems up and dizzy them out again.
A good Thinking Place is hard to find these days.