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A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place

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 watches 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?

Rest

Rest

Summer is ending, there’s a little bit of Autumn emerging since a few days. The smells have changed in a quiet way, becoming more raw, full of earth and burning sunrise. It will be my very first Fall season here, in the Pacific Northwest, and I can’t wait to dive right into it. 

Two months already since the Great Trip. Since then, I’ve been mostly silent here and else. 

I was aiming to share with you my move in this incredible region, to talk about my first discoveries, the radical change of scenery that I was expecting, but also the difficult parts (let’s be honest here, an expatriation comes with these too). In the end, I’ve decided to leave Internet alone for a while, I’ve voluntarily neglected the virtual spaces that I usually haunt just to be able to enjoy my new life in a completely selfish way.

I pressed the pause button, and I simply took some rest. Rather than wandering and losing myself in the social media, I breathed by the shadow of the Great Pines that I met. Rather than spending hours with emails and todo lists, I went outside, I walked on the forest paths and experienced the mountains around. To find myself again, to center and regenerate. To form a relationship with these Lands that welcomed me and of which I am now a part.

It took me more time than I was expecting to adjust to this new environment. I’m not that flexible and even if I did consider the huge changes that should come with the move, I think I can admit today that I underestimated the impact of it. But in the end, the shaking and the metamorphosis that came along were so beneficial to me. 

I must say that not having to post anything was a good thing too. If you’re a content creator yourself, you surely know what I mean: the constant pressure to regularly put out perfect photos with thoughtful captions to get some attention on your craft. Well, being able to concentrate on something else for a moment, or on nothing at all for that matter, has been really helpful. It was nice to put away the bag of thoughts and stress that I usually carry with me all the time (I even found myself dreaming again in the process!). 

I’ve been silent quite a while but I can see now how necessary it was. And it was after all a reflection of the Silence that I encountered in the woods, when I was walking in this Wild Nature. A refreshing silence that soothes, inspires and heals deeply. A quiet time that made me able to gather some energy for the seasons and the challenges to come, and there surely will be some.

I didn’t bring a lot of stuff when I came here: four suitcases for two persons, Mister Pumpkin and his 11 pounds of fur, plus a little inner flame of mine named creativity. Now that Autumn is starting to show off its most beautiful colors, I know that this Summer of silence and contemplation was precisely the fuel that I needed for this fire to start again, but also to allow me to express myself again. 

Reach for the sky!

Reach for the sky!

Ok, so… I have a big announcement to make. I mean, a huge one. And as usual, I don’t really know where to begin. Maybe I can start with a pretty photograph so you can have some sort of clue on what this is all about.

Destination: Pacific Northwest!

Yep, just came back to my workshop, and here I am, preparing myself for a trip. I’m quite busy with all th…

– A trip, really? That’s your idea of a huge news?
– Ok, ok, just… give me a minute.

So maybe you’re already aware that by the beginning of next summer, my tribe and I are going to move…

– Come oooon! Spill it out!

We are going to move to the United States and actually live there for a couple of years!

And of course, this big change implied that I’ll be taking my work and my shop with me. A part of it, at least, since I have to be very selective about what needs to come with us on this adventure. But yeah, now that I said it, I can start to breathe again.

It isn’t an idea that has just popped out of our mind in the last couple of minutes, but I didn’t want to talk about it here before I was sure without any doubt that we were going to do this. I’m kind of superstitious when it comes to big projects like this, and I rarely speak to more than one or two people about it as long as I’m not absolutely sure of the outcome (and they had to listen to me and bear my moods during all the progress of the situation ^^ ). The other reason is that I kept thinking about all the consequences of an announcement like this one if it just ends up canceled. I’d probably just feel pretty uncomfortable if that were to happen.

But today, I have enough certainties: our visas have been approved by the American embassy and the fly date is pretty much set. All seems ready for the Great Trip, I just need to sort and pack my things (and here comes a massive amount of work to do, I shouldn’t even be here rambling about it). Anyway, if everything follows our plan, by the end of June, USA here we come!

What will this move change for you, you ask? Until now, even if I’ve always taken orders from all over the world, the online shop was only available in French. Yeah, sorry about that 😛 But here comes the good news, I’m working on an English version so I can welcome you in as you deserve. On the other hand, I’ll probably have to close the shop for a few months when I’ll arrive on the US soil because you know, I need to get authorizations and licenses and stuff to be able to work properly in my new environment.

Anyway, another change for you will concern the shipping costs and delivery times. You guessed it, American people, that’s a win for you!

Preparing for a trip

I can’t describe you how much I’m excited about this move, and I can’t wait to tell you my stories here, on the blog. Surely I’ll be talking to you about my journey, with all of its challenges and victories, not to mention all of the discoveries and meetings that I will surely make once I’m settled there. I can only invite you to join me on social medias if you haven’t already, and especially on my Instagram accounts, where I speak English (or at least, I try to, ahah) 🙂

It’s a well-thought-out decision, but even if I’ve taken the time to consider all that needed to be considered, it’s still a leap of faith. It asks me, amongst other things, to delay or even give up other projects that I care about, without really knowing what I will gain in exchange. But to be fair, it’s mostly a great opportunity and it would have been totally stupid to say no when it came into our lives.

Plus, on a strictly personal level, the time – in a certain way – fits for me, as I’m looking for a way to change my World. I can definitely see myself planting my roots elsewhere for some time and rebuild something different after the tough weeks I’ve been through.

As for Lune de Sève, I have the feeling that I will start from the beginning, but with my first experience of entrepreneurship as a big help. I start again, but with the craving and will for more authenticity, I want to create more in agreement with the person I’ve become, letting my higher self be more expressive. The winds of changes are here and I want to rebrand my shop and business by thinking about what I can and want to give more to others, keeping a wish in mind: that Beauty and Imagination continue to inspire those they touch.

I’m moving to America, and it’s a great transition, a new beginning and without a doubt, it will be an adventure! I sincerely hope you’ll be there, sharing it with me ♥