a 'Sense of Place'

by Larry Christy

© Father's Day 2011

A ‘Sense of Place’ is a home that is felt and is only yours. This feeling of home involves your experience and knowledge, which becomes where/what you wish to know for/with; what makes – YOU. It is a place that I would call ‘My Heart Spot’. Kent Rydon once said, “A sense of place results gradually and unconsciously from inhabiting a landscape over time, becoming familiar with its physical properties, accruing history within its confines.” Which sums up what a ‘Sense of Place’ is but does not give it a feeling as how Robert Frost said, “The land was ours before we were the land’s”.

Traveling the world over with the thought that I would never return to the roots of the small rural town that I would once again call home gives a moment of longing for the return. Slowly as I aged and with a bit of luck plus with some maturing of wisdom, I realized that without a ‘Sense of Place’ one never knows who they are.  

With a ‘Sense of Place’ then one feels welcome and connected. A news report, a passing comment or just a memory that is felt makes the heart perk up. Memories of a good time, a soft time or merely a memory of a place that brings happiness into one’s own being causes a ‘Sense of Place’ to consume us and makes us whole within ourselves.

A longing to return grows as the years go by; just before I retired from my travels, while in the Air Force, well, it was decided for me that I would return home. No one made that decision for you, but simply by the ‘Sense of Place’ one has – HOME.  Home is where the heart is, thus again; my larceny in overusing another idiom, but if the truth were known, when one speaks of ‘Your home is where you lay your hat’, then I must say Home called me home; Home made my decision to return and I have no regrets coming home. Family, school chums and friends hailed me back without speaking a word.

This ‘Sense of Place’ gives us our identity our character and is immediately recognized by us just by a feeling – Home, My Sense of Place.

If you do not know where your place is – then you do not know who you are and you have a ‘Sense of Place’.