Ed's Corner

Ed’s Corner (simple ideas developing a sense of place)

October 16, 2012
a group of people hiking

Happy Autumn!

How lucky we are to live in a four-season place. When you receive this October issue of our newsletter the leaf colors should be almost at their peak. How I wish we could run our camp during each of the four seasons! Each offers unique outdoor exploration opportunities and, of course, our gardens and farm also take on different tempos and rhythms.

Not so long ago in our country, when most people were tied to the land in some way, i.e. farms, families based their lives and their livelihoods on the changes that came with each season. Our internal rhythms were basically in tune with those earthly rhythms of the places where we lived. In various ways, we reflected our place and at the same time our place also reflected us.

Today, for many reasons, our sense of place is missing. I sometimes get a sense from people (young and old) of their feeling ‘lost’. It’s certainly telling when I hear people talk of feeling ‘un-grounded’, ‘rootless’, or that they’re ‘looking for something that’s missing’.

In developing a sense of place – a feel and a knowledge, a love for and a sense of belonging to a particular piece of the planet – one starts to feel ‘at home’, comfortable, anchored, safe, a part of something greater, of belonging.

Some simple ideas for developing a sense of place:

*Go outside(!)
*Find out where north, south, east and west are.
*Observe one tree and notice when it changes color, is there a pattern to the leaves falling?
*Are the sounds of ‘your place’ different on a rainy day?
*Make friends with the weeds and other unplanned vegetation around your home.
*Crush a warmed-by-the-sun handful of fallen leaves and sniff.
*Find the last blooming flowers and see who’s still collecting pollen.
*How early does night seem to come now? How about a week from now?