I believe that ultimately […] we should take time to explore our local landscape and locate our personal places of power. That we should try to find out how to start a conversation with them.Barry Patterson – The Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci
I’m currently rereading this book for the third time and, as usual, I couldn’t agree more. This particular sentence always hit me and, oddly enough, it illustrates perfectly what I’ve been up to these past months – at least when I wasn’t sitting at my desk, imagining, drawing and creating some of the good stuff I’ve been accumulating in my Atelier.
In fact, and more than ever before, these two activities have been connected at a very deep and intimate level. I really wanted to reopen the shop sooner, but if I was to work on a new version of it, first I had to go out and walk, explore the woods around, and listen to what the Song of the Wind had to say. It’s always been a great part of my spiritual path as much as the best fuel I know for my creative space. It’s all about getting to know my environment, getting to know the land I live on and its various inhabitants. Getting a sense of place, knowing where and, most importantly, how I belong.
So let me tell you a little about this awesome place I’ve landed on 🙂
If you don’t already know it, I now live in Issaquah, WA with my beloved expat’ tribe, aka my husband and Mr. Pop’cat. And I must say I’m pretty lucky we have found this place in particular. From our home when the sky is clear, you get to see the magnificent Olympic Mountains carving the horizon beyond Seattle. Have a break on the patio outside, look North, and here’s the snowy silhouette of Mount Baker. Finally and much closer, Cougar, Squak and Tiger Mountain are framing the city below, forming what’s known for good reasons as the Issaquah Alps. Those three are my favorites, and my eyes can not help being drawn on their rounded curves lined with evergreens.
I also have to talk about another presence here, one that unfortunately I can’t see directly from my home, but that is nevertheless quite important. Tahoma, or Mount Rainier if you like, a Giant of Fire and Ice who watch over the whole region. The first that captured my attention from the plane when I arrived, giving me this deep sense of awe, a feeling of wonder and reverence that I couldn’t possibly forget. The first that I got to greet in person a couple of weeks after, while hiking in good company on its snowy slopes and trails.
I’ll be honest with you: I’m absolutely in love with this region. I’ve had this feeling since the first day we arrived, that I am home here, that I belong and I’m welcome. Everything seems amplified here, thus the adaptation has been quite hard in some ways. It has required to break some shell, to expose a soft and fragile skin sometimes. Nevertheless, I found a real Sense of Place here, and I’m excited to be able to continue exploring my local landscape in the weeks and months to come, especially now that it is waking up from wintertime. I can’t wait to deepen my relationship with it. I’ve found a Place of Power here, that allowed me to heal, to grieve, to rest, and to start dreaming again.
What’s your relationship with the land you live in? Have you already found your place of personal power there?